Working in metal fabrications can be a satisfying career path with plenty of room for growth and advancement.
If you enjoy working with your hands, paying close attention to detail and manufacturing high-quality products, you can earn a high salary for your skills.
Exploring some of the high-paying career options in the metal fabrications industry can help you choose a career path that matches your experience and long-term goals.
In this article, we explore some of the best-paying jobs in metal fabrications and the basic duties of each position.
The 11 best-paying jobs in metal fabrications
As you gain experience in the metal fabrications field, you can earn high-paying salaries of $50,000 or more. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $51,453 per year
Primary duties: An ironworker is responsible for shaping iron and steel structures and installing them to create the framework for roads, bridges and other structures.
They heat, cut and shape iron beams, scaffolding and rigging. Ironworkers weld pieces of iron together, reinforce them with concrete, operate heavy machinery, repair buildings and uphold safety regulations.
Ironworkers maintain their equipment, clean their tools and record their progress during construction progress.
National average salary: $56,489 per year
Primary duties: A millwright operates industrial equipment on a construction site or at a manufacturing plant.
They transport, assemble, set up, install and repair industrial machinery, equipment and tools.
Their duties include reviewing schematics and blueprints, setting up worksites, preparing individual machine parts, filing down pieces to fit into specific machines and replacing defective pieces.
National average salary: $58,816 per year
Primary duties: Fabricators create the metal components of products, machines and equipment. They cut, bend, shape and file metal pieces to meet the engineering specifications of a project.
They select the appropriate tools, such as shears, dills, cutters and soldering irons, measure finished items, review metal pieces for quality and consistency and prepare pieces for delivery.
4. Sheet metal mechanic
National average salary: $64,337 per year
Primary duties: A sheet metal mechanic is responsible for cutting, shaping and installing sheet metal equipment, particularly for roofing, drainage pipes, air conditioning systems and ventilation ducts.
They review the blueprints of an area and shape the sheet metal to fit into the space to its exact measurements.
Sheet metal mechanics cut and straighten the metal, create even seams and install the finished product.
5. CNC programmer
National average salary: $65,283 per year
Primary duties: A CNC programmer is responsible for designing software for CNC machines that automatically cut and manufacture materials such as metal sheeting.
CNC programmers interpret schematics and program instructions to process the materials and produce the appropriate number of items.
They determine which tools to use, develop a database of code to incorporate into their programs and enter their designs into the CNC modeling software.
National average salary: $65,360 per year
Primary duties: A boilermaker is in charge of assembling and installing boilers and other large containers that carry gases and liquids.
They consult with clients on their industrial needs to determine what kind of boiler to create for their building, then develop schematics that match those specifications.
They shape, bend and seal metal to create an airtight vat that can safely operate under hot, high-pressure conditions.
Boilermakers travel to worksites, observe the gauge on the boiler, make adjustments to the pipes and make repairs to the metal body of the boiler.
7. CNC machinist
National average salary: $67,360 per year
Primary duties: A CNC machinist is responsible for operating CNC machines in industrial manufacturing plants to produce a range of products, including metal components and structures.
CNC machinists follow assembly instructions, load metal materials into the CNC machine, weld pieces together, inspect the finished products for quality and test their durability.
The CNC machinist is also responsible for maintaining the CNC machine and unloading raw materials after completing a production run.
8. Industrial engineer
National average salary: $74,344 per year
Primary duties: Industrial engineers are responsible for assessing operations in manufacturing environments and developing efficient manufacturing systems.
In the metal fabrications industry, industrial engineers review the best way to develop metal products, including ways to acquire raw materials, develop production schedules, train metal fabrication employees and reduce waste.
Industrial engineers are also responsible for improving quality control methods and maximizing the productivity and efficiency of each individual manufacturer on the production floor.
9. Construction superintendent
National average salary: $80,920 per year
Primary duties: Construction superintendents are in charge of overseeing the entire process of building a new structure for a client, including demolition, construction and inspection.
They acquire all essential supplies and raw materials, including steel girders, scaffolding, concrete, lumber and sheet metal.
Construction supervisors hire and train specialists to shape and cut the metal infrastructure for their buildings, then schedule inspectors to verify the structural integrity of their buildings.
They also oversee the budget and timeline of the project.
10. Manufacturing manager
National average salary: $84,931 per year
Primary duties: A manufacturing manager is responsible for supervising production activities in an industrial setting.
They supervise the planning, scheduling and inventory management activities for the manufacturing team to optimize efficiency and ensure they meet production goals.
Manufacturing managers train employees on the proper processes and techniques for completing their individual manufacturing specialties.
They also conduct safety training and ensure that all employees meet expectations for safety and industry compliance.
National average salary: $89,408 per year
Primary duties: A metallurgist is someone who professionally researches ways to extract and treat metals and alloys.
They study different applications of metals and determine how to apply the properties of specific metals to unique situations.
Metallurgists find the best ways to process and manufacture metals for commercial use, advise manufacturers on how to improve their manufacturing processes and employ unique soldering and shaping techniques to produce innovative products.