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Welding fabricator

Welder, pipe welder, MIG welder, TIG welder, arc welder, boilermaker

Welding fabricators cut, join and shape metal and other materials, using heat and a range of tools. They are required on construction projects of all sizes, to do anything from fixing machinery to building bridges. Welders may help to construct the steel frames for buildings, support industrial projects, or even work underwater on oil rigs.

Average salary*

£20000

-

£50000

Typical hours per week

44 - 46

How to become a welding fabricator?

There are several routes to becoming a welding fabricator. You could do a college course, an apprenticeship, or complete specialist training on-the-job.

You should explore these routes to becoming a welding fabricator to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

Your local college or training provider may offer courses, such as a Level 2 Award in Welding Skills, a Level 2 Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Practice or a Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering.

You’ll need:

Apprenticeship

You could complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship to become a welding fabricator, in welding, engineering construction or engineering manufacturing.

You’ll need:

  • Up to 5 GCSEs, including English and maths, or equivalent (intermediate apprenticeship)
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths (advanced apprenticeship).

An apprenticeship with a construction company is a good way into the industry.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Work

If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain onsite experience as a welding fabricator. You might start out as an assistant and progress as your abilities improve.

Your employer might help you to gain a welding qualification, which would give you many of the skills required for the job. The Engineering Construction Training Board (ECITB), Enginuity and the Welding Institute (TWI) all provide further information about training and qualifications.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a welding fabricator. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a welding fabricator include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of engineering and technology
  • Ability to work with your hands
  • Basic maths and design skills.

What does a welding fabricator do?

As a welding fabricator, you will be responsible for joining metal using a variety of techniques, often to form new structures. Duties may include cutting and welding materials according to technical plans created by other construction professionals.

  • Carrying out gas metal arc welding (GMAW), to manufacture items and components
  • Cutting materials into the required shapes, checking dimensions and thicknesses
  • Welding or joining metal and other materials into a wide range of structures
  • Following engineering plans, drawings and instructions
  • Using computer programmes to design structures
  • Operating tools and machinery and welding equipment
  • Inspecting and testing welds with precision measuring instruments
  • Dismantling metal structures
  • Cleaning tools, equipment and work areas
  • Wearing safety clothing and using protective equipment
  • Working on a construction site or in a workshop.

How much could you earn as a welding fabricator?

The expected salary for a welding fabricator varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained welding fabricators can earn £20,000 - £25,000
  • Trained welding fabricators with some experience can earn £25,000 - £30,000
  • Senior welding fabricators can earn £30,000 - £50,000*
  • Self-employed welding fabricators set their own pay rates.

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Vacancies

Check out the latest welding fabricator vacancies:

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a welding fabricator, you could progress to become a welder engineer or a senior welding fabricator.

You could also set up your own business and become self-employed.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Welding fabricator Create structures by joining metal & other materials for use throughout construc...
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  • Current role Welder engineer Welding engineers work on the design, maintenance and development of a wide rang...
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