Fabricators manufacture steel components and structures used anywhere from a kitchen sink to a skyscraper.

Careers information


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 a skyscraper (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?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • 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

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English
  • Fabricator (light, heavy or steel construction)
  • Specialist Fabricator
  • Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Workshop Supervisor
  • Welding Supervisor
  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
 Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning
Gateway programme available