4-year degrees have been emphasized heavily over the last forty years, and because of that, there is now a shortage of workers who are able to perform skilled labor like that which is required in metal fabrication environments. Thankfully, vocational colleges and the various programs offered are now becoming more visible again as this labor shortage continues to grow.
So what types of jobs are available in precision metal fabrication?
Also known as a machinist or production technician, depending on the company, these employees handle the setup and operation of many different machines on the shop floor. These may include, but are not limited to, press brakes, turret punch presses, CNC laser cutting equipment, powder coat finishing lines, and more. Skills required include the ability to read blueprints, operate the various machines plus understand the use of precision measuring instruments.
National employment statistics show that the median annual salary for a metal fabrication machine operator in 2020 was almost $40K a year. Training can consist of a dedicated vocational program lasting 6 months to a year, or apprenticeship-style programs that can last as many as four years leading to full-time employment. Although employment is expected to decline in this area with more automation being integrated into many shop floors, this is still an excellent field to consider for those who enjoy hands-on work, as skilled machine operators are still very much in demand.
We wouldn’t have predicted that welding would become trendy, but if you check out Instagram, you’ll see that it’s now one of the coolest careers around and there are hundreds of welders with thousands of followers. Why? Because welding is almost as much an art as it is a science, and many welders work in fabrication and manufacturing settings for their day job, but moonlight as artists, many of whom create amazing sculptural or architectural pieces in their spare time.
Welders can specialize in different types of welding, including:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG)
Welding salaries in a typical fabrication environment have a median of about $45K per year, depending on training, certifications, and experience, and job growth is expected to average per year 3% over the next 10 years. But one of the most interesting facets of welding as a career is the sheer number of environments in which welders are needed — from oil rigs to movie sets to motorsports pit crews. There are even jobs for underwater welding specialists! And, as you might imagine, the most extreme the job requirements, the better paying the position tends to be.
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator of stainless steel and aluminum headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. We utilize the latest technology to cut, bend, weld and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products. Our four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from welding robots and laser cutting solutions to automated powder coating lines. We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Request a personalized metal fabrication quote online, or call (973) 839-4432 to speak with a specialist today.