A pipe fabricator is a professional who fabricates and assembles pipe products. Many of these professionals fabricate pipes to required customizations by following blueprints or product specification instructions. This occupation is typically found in a manufacturing or production environment, and may require technical training or education to successfully complete the job responsibilities.
Education and Training
Most employers require at least a high school diploma or GED, and provide extensive on-the-job training. Depending on the types of pipes being fabricated, employers may require vocational training to read blueprints, perform welding or understand the basics of carpentry.
This occupation requires manual dexterity, a technical aptitude, math skills and the ability to follow detailed instructions. Some employers may require pre-employment dexterity and technical assessments to ensure job applicants are able to perform the responsibilities of the job. Due to the nature of the work and environment, employers may also require a pre-employment physical exam and drug test to ensure job applicants have the ability to lift, push or pull heavy objects and work coherently and avoid injuries.
A pipe fabricator reads and interprets blueprints and product specifications to determine which equipment and tools will be required to complete the work. Utilizing a variety of tools, he then fabricates and assembles piping products following quality control procedures to ensure the products meet the required specifications. Some pipes may be customized while others may require repetitive procedures to complete the piping.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a decline in job opportunities for these and related manufacturing occupations between 2008 and 2018. The decline is expected due to increasing automation, as well as continuing improvements in efficiencies in the manufacturing industry. Many organizations have also moved their manufacturing functions outside the United States to improve costs.
Salary can vary for this occupation depending the types of piping products being fabricated and technical knowledge required to complete the job. In June 2010, Indeed.com lists a national average salary of $38,000 per year for this occupation.