Did you know that the United Steelworkers is the biggest industrial union in North America with 1.2 million current members and retirees? From cutting and bending to welding and assembling different steel structures, stainless steel fabricators can work in a variety of different settings. If you are considering a career in a fabrication shop such as Able Mechanical, then there are several skills required to be successful.
But first, you should know what the difference between stainless vs. ordinary steel is. Stainless steel contains the chemical element chromium, therefore it has a high resistance to tarnishing and rust. Ordinary steel that is left unprotected will rust when exposed to elements such as air and moisture. Aside from protection against rust, stainless steel also has several other advantages including ease of fabrication making it easier to cut, weld and machine when compared to other metals that may be used in manufacturing. Some additional benefits of using stainless steel include durability, visual appeal, maintenance and cost.
What are some of the job duties of a steelworker? In addition to completing any and all steel fabrication work in their respective shop settings, stainless steel fabricators also service and maintain all of the equipment that they use. However, a majority of the time is spent fabricating specific parts based upon respective blueprints.
Steelworker Career Requirements
Stainless steel fabricators come from all walks of life and educational backgrounds. Although it is possible to land an entry-level job in the field with nothing more than a high school diploma, or a GED, the requirements often vary between fab shops that are hiring. Steel fabrication is a very labor-intensive job, therefore anybody considering a career in the field should be in above average physical condition. The senior-level positions in most fab shops are typically awarded from within to those employees with vast experience and extensive knowledge of all the shop’s operations. Since steel fabrication often involves multiple steps to achieve the finished product, you’ll also need to excel at working in a team environment and have excellent communication skills.
Here are some of the other skills commonly required in a fab shop:
- ability to operate hand tools
- tape measure and caliper measurements
- crane operation
- forklift operation
- brake & punch presses
- drill presses
- plasma cutters
- flame cutters
How much money can stainless steel fabricators earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for Structural Iron and Steel Workers was $53,140 (2014). It’s also a career field that is expected to expand by up 22% by the year 2022. Although it is often considered a dangerous profession, adhering to rigid safety protocols continues to mitigate many of the issues that fab shops typically experience.
If you are considering a career in either the fabrication or A/C repair industry, then Able Mechanical is always looking for new talent in their Denton County shop. Submit an employment inquiry online, or visit the office during business hours.