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.


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


Unit/Achievement standards in schools

  • Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in Maths

  • Science (physics)

  • Technology (metalwork)

  • English

Gateway programme available


  • 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