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Structural Steel Fabricator

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Structural steel fabricators manufacture, assemble, modify and repair steel structures of all types such as steel-framed buildings and bridges. They cut, shape, join and finish steel using detailed specifications to fabricate the members, parts and sub-assemblies of the structure.

Steel fabricators often work with builders to develop a steel solution bringing the efficiencies of their trade to the project. The steel fabricator develops the project, material and equipment requirements and orders steel from a distributor. Once delivered, the steel is precision cut and drilled often using highly automated machinery. It is then moved to a fabrication bay where it is assembled by welding and bolting, then finished by various means such as blasting and coating.

Steel fabricators need to be highly skilled in the use of machine and hand-tools, very methodical and capable of a high degree of concentration and precision. They enjoy practical work, usually spending most of their time in workshops or production areas. It is necessary for them to have a constant awareness of safety. Do you enjoy hands-on technical activities, have an ability to read drawings and good hand-eye co-ordination with a practical approach to creating things? Would you like to operate computer-controlled equipment and use hand tools, power tools and welding processes to work with heavy gauge steel? You could learn a highly skilled trade and become a valued member of the fabrication team which has the know-how to create top quality structural frameworks.

Qualifications

There are no specified educational entry requirements although Year 10 or equivalent is preferable. Training can be started while still at school. After school, the training involves an apprenticeship which can be combined with study.

Some examples of TAFE courses:

  • Certificate II in Engineering
  • Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Heavy Fabrication, Light Fabrication, etc.)
  • Certificate IV in Engineering (Fabrication)
  • Diploma in Engineering – Advanced Trade

Contacts

Australian Industry Group: www.zoomplus.aigroup.asn.au

Australian Apprenticeships: www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au

List of TAFE colleges: www.australian-universities.com/colleges/list.php

The Structural Steel Fabricator

Ken Wilson has not only fabricated the steel for dozens of buildings, he has erected them as well.

“The greatest challenge was probably the Sydney Olympic Stadium with its huge arch and intricate pipe work canopy. Whenever I drive past the stadium I get flashbacks to this exciting period just before the Olympics when everything was happening.

To be a good fabricator, you need to be a project manager, a good communicator and have spatial thinking. You need to become excited about big projects and achieving something tangible, not just reviewing numbers in a book.

If you are looking for a trade that allows you to create and build things, I suggest that you look at steel fabrication. It’s in a growth phase worldwide in an industry where Australia is world class.”

Ken Wilson
Company Director

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