what is a fabricator?

A fabricator is a key worker in the manufacturing field. The parts that go into products, from cars to card readers, are produced to exact specifications. Meeting those specifications is a fabricator's job.

Although your responsibilities as a fabricator will vary depending on where you work, they all centre around producing the parts that go into a finished product. Fabricators traditionally create metal products by cutting, shaping, joining and finishing the metal, but many also work with other materials.

Fabrication is extremely detail-oriented, so if you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting the fine points right, it might be the ideal job for you.

fabricators in different industries

Because a fabricator's job is to produce components, you can work in various industries, from mining and resources to manufacturing and construction companies. Fabricators in the automotive and aerospace industries create parts for vehicles. Meanwhile, fabricators in other fields produce the components used to make buildings, bridges or other infrastructure projects.

Manufacturing replacement parts for existing items is another aspect of a fabricator's role. Wherever your career as a fabricator takes you, you'll use various technical and engineering skills to produce high-quality components.

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average fabricator salary

As a fabricator, you earn a median salary of $75,000 per year. The remuneration package varies depending on your experience and skills. When starting as an apprentice, your salary begins at $65,000 annually. The remuneration package increases as you improve your skills and experience in the role. The highest-paid fabricators take home over $85,000 yearly.

how to increase your salary as a fabricator

The main factors that affect the earnings of a fabricator are experience and qualifications. When you are an apprentice with entry-level skills, you attract a lower salary. As you build your expertise and learn new skills, your earnings increase gradually. Fabricators with over five years of experience have higher remuneration packages due to their additional skills.

The industry you work in also affects your earnings. When you work for metalworks and welding companies, you are likely to earn less than fabricators working in vehicle or aircraft assembly. Vehicle manufacturing companies pay more due to the complexity of the tasks. Large companies also have more resources, so they can afford to pay higher salaries.

Want to know what you will earn as a fabricator? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of fabricators

As a fabricator, you have various areas of specialisation. For instance, you can specialise in aircraft assembly. Your duties include fabricating the overall structure of an aircraft, including installing parts of space vehicles, missiles and aeroplanes. You work on the metallic parts of the aircraft.

When building electrical products, fabricators also use robotic machines to undertake intricate tasks with metal. Whether you are building control devices, electric motors or computers, you use hand tools and machines to ensure they function properly. Electrical fabricators also work on military systems and medical equipment.

As a fabricator, you assemble and modify electromechanical devices. You use multiple tools, like rivet guns and soldering irons, to assemble household appliances.

factory worker operating a machine
factory worker operating a machine

working as a fabricator

Working as a fabricator means taking a product from the initial design to finished components, ready to be assembled. To achieve this goal, you combine technical skills with coordination and attention to detail. The final result is creating components and products that meet the designer's specifications. Discover the specific duties of fabricators.


education and skills

While traditionally fabricators work with metal, you will also work on product design and development. Hence, you require qualifications in a relevant trade background. Complete a trade background in welding, boilermaking or light fabrication. In some industries, you require qualifications in engineering and strong maths and English skills. Consider pursuing a relevant qualification, such as a Certificate III in engineering (fabrication trade). You can complete the qualification with a registered training organisation (RTO) in conjunction with an apprenticeship and on-the-job training.

Ensure you have the relevant licences to work as a fabricator. For instance, if you plan to work in the construction industry, you require a White Card, which shows you are conversant with work safety. You can also specialise in various aspects of the job, like becoming a metal fabricator-welder, brass finisher or structural steel trades worker.

fabricator skills and competencies

As a fabricator, you require the following skills and competencies:

  • maths skills: as a fabricator, getting the correct dimensions of the metal pieces is crucial. Hence, you require good maths skills to ensure accurate measurements, especially when cutting smaller pieces fitted into bigger ones.
  • hand dexterity and steady hands: as a fabricator, your job involves cutting and fixing minor defects using your hands. Having a steady hand helps you work on complex projects that require using hand-operated power tools.
  • physical fitness: you work long hours in diverse outdoor environments. The role also involves bending and moving items. Using hand-operated machines also requires physical strength and manual dexterity.
  • communication skills: as a fabricator, you work with multiple professionals to assemble product parts. You require communication skills to help you explain concepts to other team members and listen to people's ideas.
  • attention to detail: as a fabricator, you work with fine metal parts and repair structural defects. Your detail-oriented skills are important since you rely on your good eye to check if anything is missing.

FAQs about working as a fabricator

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a fabricator.

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