What Does A Metal Fabricator (Fitter) Do?

Metal fabricators (Fitters) (437A) make and repair parts used in the construction of buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels and other structures and products. They lay out, cut and fabricate structural steel, plate and different ferrour and non-ferrous metals used in a variety of manufacturing and construction industries.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • setting up and operating trade machinery such as brake presses, shears, plasma cutters, oxy-fuel cutting torches, grinders and drills to bend, punch, cut and form metal components
  • reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings and schematics 
  • performing calculations and applying shop formulas and other mathematical methods to develop patterns and lay out structural steel
  • planning the sequence of tasks and deciding how to cut the steel most efficiently
  • assembling and fitting metal sections and plates together to form sub-units or complete units used in the assembly process
  • fastening components together using tack welding, bolting and riveting
  • utilizing material handling, rigging, hoisting and lifting equipment to move completed assemblies safely
  • performing job duties with care and precision

To view the Essential Skills necessary to work in this occupation, click on the following link for Fitter/ Fabricator NOC code 7263:


Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Metal Fabricator (Fitter), you should preferably have a secondary school diploma with credits in mathematics (particularly technical math) and some shop courses this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 4680 hours of on-the-job training, as well as three in-school training sessions of 10, 7 and 7 weeks for a total of 5400 hours, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification. General skills can sometimes be transferable to other trades as well.

What’s Your Future as a Metal Fabricator (Fitter)?

Most workers in this occupation work full-time, sometimes in shift work, usually indoors in fabricating shops or factories. Some may also work outdoors fitting and fastening sub-assemblies.  The work itself can be dangerous and there is always the risk of injury. Metal Fabricators (Fitters) usually hold certificates in welding to be competitive in this trade. People who work in this trade must also keep up with new technology such as CNC and plasma cutting equipment. Some workers are self-employed or over time enter supervisory or management ranks. Examples of companies that employ Metal Fabricator (Fitters) include:

  • welding or ironworking companies
  • manufacturers of structural steel, boilers, heavy machinery and transportation equipment
  • construction related industries
  • railways
  • mining
  • oil and gas industry
  • aircraft contractors
  • ship building contractors
  • welding shops

Wage Rate

  • as an Apprentice you would start at a wage rate less than that of a journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you gain competency  
  • the wage range for fully qualified Metal Fabricators (Fitters) is between $15.00/hr to $25.00/hr, often with benefits and opportunities for overtime


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Metal Fabricator (Fitter) For You?

Are you good at planning how to accomplish a task from start to finish?

Yes     No

Can you look at a diagram or shop drawing and visualize in 3 dimensions how things should come together?

Yes     No

Do you have a mechanical aptitude for fixing things, and good manual dexterity?

Yes     No

Are you able to bend, stretch, kneel, stand for long periods, and work in close quarters with power tools and heavy material?

Yes     No

Are you good at performing mathematical calculations?

Yes     No

Do you enjoy working independently or in a group to get a job done to deadline?

Yes     No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, Metal Fabricator (Fitter) may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Millwright
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Welder
  • Machinist
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Boilermaker

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