What do they do?

Fabricators work with metals. They make steel parts and structures: from kitchen sinks (light fabrication) to steel tanks (heavy fabrication) or even skyscrapers (steel construction fabrication). They are also called sheet metal workers, steel construction workers, boilermakers and fitter-welders.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day: sometimes working longer may be required. 

Fabrication work is varied and can include working with metals to create specific products, working from design engineers' drawings, measuring, cutting, bending and welding metals, and testing the finished products.

Training is tailored to the type of work you do: heavy fabrication, light fabrication or steel construction.

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Sound like you?

  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics 
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good organisational skills
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Analysing, researching or problem-solving
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Outside (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time

Pathway

Unit/Achievement standards in schools

  • Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in Maths

  • Science (physics)

  • Technology (metalwork)

  • English

Gateway programme available

Apprenticeship

  • Fabricator (light, heavy or steel construction)

Higher learning

  • Specialist Fabricator
  • Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Workshop Supervisor
  • Welding Supervisor

Higher learning

  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner

Qualifications available

This qualification has been developed by leading New Zealand fabrication engineers to equip staff with the skills and knowledge to work productively and safely.

With technology and automation rapidly driving change in the engineering sector, this qualification is designed with the future in mind so your people can respond and adapt to change.

Most of the learning is practical work completed on-the-job. Apprentices are also required to complete eLearning via our online learning platform Canvas, and attend block courses for two to three weeks each year.

Speak to your training advisor or account manager for details on programme and resource pricing.

All graduates will be able to:

  • Understand relevant health and safety legislation and workplace safety culture
  • Interpret drawings and specifications and use the appropriate materials, processes, tools and equipment for the task 
  • Apply knowledge of relevant fabrication principles and practices, and problem solving skills, to perform engineering fabrication tasks to industry standards 
  • Safely weld to an appropriate industry standard in a commercial engineering fabrication environment 
  • Use effective and efficient processes, principles and quality systems to fabricate components and provide services in a commercial engineering fabrication environment
  • Communicate effectively within a team and the wider workplace
  • Recognise the limits of their own ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency in the engineering fabrication field.

Graduates of the Heavy Fabrication strand will also be able to:

Produce a range of heavy fabricated products, including trucks and trailers, earthmoving machinery, manufacturing equipment, and pressure vessels from heavy gauge plate, sections, and pipes using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.

Graduates of the Light Fabrication strand will also be able to:

Produce a range of light fabricated products such as ducting, architectural fixtures, and balustrading from light gauge sheet, sections, and pipes using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.

Graduates of the Steel Construction strand will also be able to:

Produce and install a range of structural steel elements for building and civil engineering projects, using the appropriate tools and current relevant techniques.

 

Engineering fabrication NZQA qualification overview Fees free eligible

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview