Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters

(NOC 7235)

in All Trades and Transportation

Metal fabricators (fitters) make and repair metal parts used in the construction of buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels, and other structures and products. They work for structural steel, boiler and platework fabrication plants and for heavy machinery manufacturing and shipbuilding companies.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: undetermined - an outlook was not determined for this occupation due to too few workers in Nova Scotia.
Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small with infrequent job opportunities.
Demand: Employment is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
Work hours: full-time, usually.

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$28.28

Median

$36.03

Maximum

Annual Pay

$27,473

Minimum

$48,213

Median

$80,434

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Metal fabricators (fitters) make and repair metal parts used in the construction of buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels, and other structures and products. They work for structural steel, boiler and platework fabrication plants and for heavy machinery manufacturing and shipbuilding companies.

Job duties

Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters:

  • Study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine the materials required and plan the sequence of tasks to cut metal most efficiently.
  • Construct patterns and templates as guides for layouts.
  • Lay out reference points and patterns on heavy metal according to component specifications.
  • Rig, hoist and move materials to storage areas or within worksite.
  • Assemble and fit metal sections and plates to form complete units or subunits using tack welding, bolting, riveting or other methods.
  • Set up and operate various heavy-duty metal-working machines like brake presses, shears, cutting torches, grinders and drills, including computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, to bend, cut, form, punch, drill or otherwise form heavy-metal components.
  • Install components in final product.

Sample job titles

  • marine fitter
  • metal fabricator (fitter)
  • metal shipwright
  • plater-welder
  • platework fabricator and fitter
  • shipfitter
  • steel fabricator
  • structural metal fitter-assembler
  • structural metal worker

Skills

  • Ability to visualize in three dimensions
  • Good coordination
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Manual dexterity
  • Mathematical ability
  • Strength and stamina
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to work in close quarters
  • Workers should enjoy doing tasks that are physically demanding
  • Those interested in the structural metal fabricating trade should not have a fear of heights and should be able to move quickly.

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 5,400-hour apprenticeship program with three apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 8,100 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for metal fabricators (fitters) is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for metal fabricator (fitter).
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.
  • Trade certification for marine fitters is currently inactive in Nova Scotia.

Other considerations

  • Metal fabricators (fitters) usually work indoors in fabricating shops or factories. Some may also work outdoors fitting and fastening sub-assemblies.
  • They work a 40-hour workweek. Overtime may be required to meet project deadlines.
  • There is a risk of injury when working in close quarters, at heights, with heavy materials, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Experienced metal fabricators (fitters) may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may advance to positions such as lead hand, supervisor, quality assurance/quality control inspector, or contract manager, or set up their own shops.
  • Some metal fabricators (fitters) may also be certified as skilled welders.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

280

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

5.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

61.8%

Halifax

$51,079 median annual income
12.7%

North Shore

$46,623 median annual income
10.9%

Southern

$41,523 median annual income
9.1%

Annapolis Valley

N/A
5.5%

Cape Breton

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

59.6%

Manufacturing

17.3%

Public administration

5.8%

Construction

5.8%

Wholesale trade

3.8%

Transportation and warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

24.0%

55-64

22.0%

35-44

22.0%

45-54

22.0%

25-34

9.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

35.7%

Trade Certification

$68,692 median annual income
30.4%

College Diploma

$50,635 median annual income
19.6%

High school

$37,985 median annual income
12.5%

Less than high school

$37,632 median annual income
3.6%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Marine Maintenance/Fitter and Ship Repair Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair outboard and inboard engines, test, maintain, and repair steering devices and electrical systems, repair hulls and vessel components, make and maintain sails, and repair and balance propellers and drive shafts.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Metal Fabrication - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to construct industrial, storage, and commercial metal structures using prefabricated framing and siding components. They include courses in sheet metal working, ironworking, assembly and fastening techniques, blueprint reading, site preparation, structural design principles, safety, and applicable codes and regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to form, shape, bend and fold extruded metals, including the creation of new products, using hand tools and machines such as cornice brakes, forming rolls, and squaring shears.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Welding Technology/Welder - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to join or cut metal surfaces. They include courses in arc welding, resistance welding, brazing and soldering, cutting, high-energy beam welding and cutting, solid state welding, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, oxidation-reduction reactions, welding metallurgy, welding processes and heat treating, structural design, safety, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Marine Fitter (INACTIVE)

Trade Inactive: This trade is currently inactive in Nova Scotia.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Canadian Welding Bureau, Atlantic Region
Dartmouth, NS
Canada Marine Industries and Shipbuilding Association
Ottawa, ON