Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters fabricate, assemble, fit and install steel or other metal components for buildings, bridges, tanks, towers, boilers, pressure vessels and other similar structures and products.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 600
N/A - Data not available
Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters perform some or all of the following duties:
Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters typically work a standard 40-hour workweek. However, some shops and factories require employees to do shift work. Large-scale structural metal projects may require workers to relocate to worksites for extended periods of time.
Workers involved in project-based construction may experience periods of unemployment between construction jobs.
Structural metal workers generally work outside in all kinds of weather. However, because of safety risks, those who work at great heights do not work during wet, icy or extremely windy conditions. Safety equipment (such as safety belts, scaffolding and nets) is used to minimize risk of injury.
Workers who fabricate structural metal in fabricating shops or factories work indoors where it may be dirty and noisy, with strong odours. Although these labourers work a lot with steel, an increasing amount of work is being done with other metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum and titanium.
This kind of work can be physical in nature, since workers have to do considerable bending, lifting, standing, climbing and squatting. In addition, workers often have to position and attach heavy metal components.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of Grade 10 is required, but completion of Grade 12 is preferred. Other training and requirements may include:
Trade certification is not required to be a metal fabricator (fitter) in B.C., but workers with certification will likely have more job opportunities.
The Industry Training Authority offers a four-year apprenticeship program for metal fabricators (fitters). Apprenticeship programs:
Interprovincial Standards Red Seal certification is available to metal fabricators (fitters) through the Industry Training Authority. This allows holders to work in any province or territory. Once individuals pass the final examination in their accredited training program, they will achieve certification and will automatically receive Red Seal qualification.
Metal fabricators with 9,600 hours of documented, directly related work experience can challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal examination. For more information, please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.
Those who are certified for an occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority of BC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
Of the opportunities that arise in the coming years, it is expected that more than half will result from new job creation.
While the Construction industry is a much smaller employer of workers in this occupation, it does offer work opportunities. Government funding for capital projects has also been an important source of construction employment. For example, the 2010 Olympic Games created demand for structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters to build sports complexes, transportation facilities and the new trade and convention centre. Major investments are also planned and underway in B.C.'s transportation infrastructure, including roads, rails, ferries, bridges, ports and airports.
In recent years, work has been declining in Canada’s Manufacturing industry. Falling exports and increasing imports of goods from other countries are the likely cause, influenced by the strong Canadian dollar and the depressed currencies of some countries.
British Columbia manufacturers are, for the most part, small- and medium-sized companies that serve specialized markets. They are vulnerable to economic impacts faced by Canadian firms as a whole.
Within the Manufacturing industry, Shipbuilding and Ship Repair is a significant sector for structural metal platework fabricators and fitters jobs. Some activity in this sector has moved offshore to take advantage of low-cost suppliers. However, there are still some specialty niches in the province.
Some structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters may also be certified as skilled welders. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.