Working as a Fabricator in South Africa
Whether you are just starting out or you are looking for a career change, pursuing a job as a fabricator might be the perfect choice. Today the Job Mail team takes a closer look at what the job of a metal, steel and plastic fabricator is all about. If you are looking for new opportunities, be sure to look for fabricator jobs on Job Mail.
What do fabrication jobs entail?
A metal fabricator is responsible for manufacturing and repairing metal products. They measure and cut metal to produce structures according to the specifications of their employer. This process involves drilling and shaping, and building metal frameworks for buildings and bridges. Their services are required on a range of construction projects.
Steel fabricators play a vital role in ship building. They use tools as well as measuring equipment to perform their duties. Machine and pneumatic riveters are used in this profession, while heating and hammering sections of metal is only one of the tasks fabricators can expect to perform.
Other tasks associated with this position include aligning sections of metal as well as riveting metal parts. Fabricators are required to review engineering drawings as well as blueprints. Their responsibilities involve using computers and, therefore, computer literacy is required for this position.
A plastic fabricator is responsible for manufacturing and repairing plastic products. Professionals are tasked with shaping and fitting plastic. Duties that a fabricator in this field can expect to perform include assessing products for defects and ensuring that plastic products meet the required specifications.
Employees in this field are also involved with recycling plastic. They laminate plastic and make fibreglass using specialised machines. Plastic fabricators are required to use equipment to mould, cut, knead and blend plastic.
Education and Occupation Regulations for Fabricators
These types of jobs are overseen by the Department of Higher Education and Training. To work as a qualified metal fabricator, you will need to pass a trade test, which can be written at an accredited national test centre. The minimum entrance requirements to become an artisan in this field include 40% in Grade 9 Mathematics, but a Level 2 National Certificate also offers you eligibility to study for trade.
One option is to complete an apprenticeship which involves theory, practical tests as well as work experience. You can also choose to complete a learnership. To become a plastic fabricator, you will need a Grade 9 education to enrol for a related learnerships.
The learnership involves the completion of Plastic Manufacturing NQF lever 2, 3, 4 and 5. A plastic fabricator can also be referred to as an acrylic or plastic pipe fabricator.
To succeed in this industry, you will need to be able to work with your hands. Excellent hand-eye coordination is required, while physical fitness and health is also important.
Industries of employment and work environment
Steel fabricators can find employment in the shipping, construction and industrial and manufacturing industries. Common industries for a metal fabricator includes engineering shops and factories.
Working conditions are often challenging and noisy, with fabricators generally working standard business hours. According to PayScale a structural metal fabricator has an average annual income of R 228 507 and skills in maintenance can result in a higher income.