Career information

What do they do?

Fabricators work with metals. They make steel parts and structures: from kitchen sinks (light fabrication) to steel tanks (heavy fabrication) or even skyscrapers (steel construction fabrication). They are also called sheet metal workers, steel construction workers, boilermakers and fitter-welders.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day: sometimes working longer may be required. 

Fabrication work is varied and can include working with metals to create specific products, working from design engineers' drawings, measuring, cutting, bending and welding metals, and testing the finished products.

Training is tailored to the type of work you do: heavy fabrication, light fabrication or steel construction.

Sound like you?

Study areas
  • English or Media or History.
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics.
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies.
  • Computing or ICT or Information Management.
  • Reasonable strength and fitness.
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • Good work habits/time management.
Helpful experience
  • Analysing, researching or problem-solving.
  • Making or fixing things.
  • Working with machinery.
  • Working with computers.
Preferred work environments
  • Indoors (workshop or plant).
  • Outdoors.
  • Different places from time to time.



These can be useful from school:

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in Maths

  • Science (physics).
  • Technology (metalwork).
  • English.
  • Entry level jobs


    • Fabricator (light, heavy or steel construction).
    Advancing jobs

    Higher learning

    • Specialist Fabricator.
    • Supervisor.
    • Leading Hand.
    • Workshop Supervisor.
    • Welding Supervisor.
    Senior jobs

    Higher learning

    • Foreman.
    • Site Supervisor.
    • Business Manager.
    • Business Owner.


    New Zealand Certificate in Engineering Fabrication (Trade) (Level 4) with strands in Heavy Fabrication, Light Fabrication, and Steel Construction

    The purpose of this qualification is to provide the engineering fabrication industry with skilled tradespeople who are able to safely and independently perform fabrication tasks within their chosen discipline, to industry standards.

    This qualification is designed for people working in the industry and will typically be achieved in a workplace environment whilst completing a New Zealand Apprenticeship.

    Available jobs

    Fabrication - Pre-apprenticeship program
    Buckley Systems Ltd
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    Light Fabrication Apprenticeship
    Monarch Sheetmetals
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    Heavy Fabrication Apprenticeship - Steel Construction
    JP Engineering Services
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    Light Fabrication - Furniture
    ISSA Furniture
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    Heavy Fabrication Apprentice
    Juno Engineering
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    Fabrication Apprenticeship
    ST Fabrication
    Learn more →
    See all job listings