Jobs & Career

A Career in Metal: These Are the Metal Fabrication Jobs That Pay Well

Over 73,000 metal fabricators are currently employed in the U.S., which is steadily growing. 

Searching for the top jobs in the industry is key to furthering your career and enjoying a quality life. But searching for roles is stressful, especially if you don’t know where to start. 

Sounds like your situation? Luckily, we’ve got the answers you’re searching for. Here are the best paying jobs in metal fabrications. 

What Is Metal Fabrication?

Before we dive into the metal industry, it’s important to define “metal fabrication”.

The term refers to the cutting, bending, and shaping of the material. Regardless of whether you’re creating a pipe bender or a vehicle, businesses will rely on you to produce quality products. Although you don’t need a college degree, you’ll need experience working at an apprenticeship before seeking full-time employment. 

Best Paying Jobs in Metal Fabrications

Metal workers are highly sought after and there are many vacancies to consider. Whether it’s teaching metalworking classes or molding iron, your dream job will be on this list. Read on to find out. 


The first job that springs to mind is a welder. Welders heat metals and use techniques to combine metal pieces. Because it can be dangerous, you must get a welding certification as it covers the necessary safety procedures. 

If you’re interested, know that welders earn around $44,000 annually.


As the name suggests, ironworkers shape iron and steel structures into a framework that creates bridges and roads. To enforce the metal, ironworkers use concrete and operate heavy machinery, meaning that they must follow strict regulations. Note, ironworkers earn around $51,453 per year.  


You’ll find millwright on construction sites or in a manufacturing plant. Their main duties are to transport, assemble, and repair equipment needed for the project. Expect to earn $56,489 annually. 


Another popular role is becoming an assembler. The average salary is $37,000 and employees must assemble components in a production environment. They use hand tools or machinery to complete these tasks in minimal time. 

Metal Finisher 

Metal finishers must handle metalworking equipment to smooth out imperfections and apply protective layers. They are expected to conduct visual checks to see that everything is running smoothly. If you follow this route, you’ll earn around $57,506 every year. 


It’s no surprise that the fabricator role makes the list. Employers expect fabricators to work with metal sheets and rods to produce blueprints. Because of this, fabricators must work with various tools, such as shears, soldering irons, and cutters. 

On average, fabricators earn $37,930 yearly. 

Metal Cutter

Metal cutters are skilled in using various equipment to manage metal. They are also aware of the safety procedures to prevent accidents in the workplace. Metal cutters must also perform regular maintenance to prevent production downtime

Note, that metal cutters earn around $52,831 per year. 

Metal Press Operator

As a metal press operator, you control machines that press metal into various shapes. Once completed, you must inspect the output to ensure it meets the company’s requirements.

Interested? Know that the average salary is $45,057 annually, depending on location. 

Metal-Forming Machine Setter

Your main responsibilities involve maintaining and operating machinery. For instance, it may need lubrication or a part replacement to run well. On average, metal-forming machine setters earn $38,040 per year. 

Industrial Engineer 

Another great occupation is becoming an industrial engineer.

You’re responsible for optimizing processes and improving efficiency in the production line. As you must understand engineering principles, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree for this role. Once you do, expect to earn between $70,000 and $90,000 annually. 

CNC Machinist 

CNC machinists handle machinery to create different metal-based products. The role also includes loading metals and welding pieces together, so thorough training is essential. You must also test products for quality to ensure they’re durable. 

If you’re interested, CNC machinists earn $67,360 every year. 

CNC Programmer 

Or, you may want to become a CNC programmer where you deal with the backend.

CNC programmers design software for the machines that slice metal sheeting. On average, this role pays $65,283 yearly. 


As you can guess, boilermakers are involved in everything boiler-related. This includes constructing, assembling, and maintaining boilers in manufacturing plants. Expect to earn $66,920 a year, depending on the employer.  

Sheet Metal Mechanic 

Sheet metal mechanics cut, shape, and install sheet metal for equipment in the production line. This is essential for creating roofing, draining pipes, and A/C units. As it’s a skilled role, sheet metal mechanics earn $64,337 yearly. 

Metal Polisher 

Metal polishes deal with metal that has a shiny surface. They must use their knowledge to decide which tools are necessary for the job. On average, metal polishers earn $37,210 every year.  

Construction Superintendent

The construction superintendent is a slightly higher-up position. Starting at $80,000 annually, you oversee the entire process, from building the structure to quality control. Construction supervisors are also responsible for hiring and training specialists for the job. 

Manufacturing Manager 

Another highly sought-after job is as a manufacturing manager.

These employees help with planning and finding ways to boost productivity. You’re also responsible for training employees and overlooking safety techniques in the workplace. If interested, the national average salary is $84,931 annually.   

Metallurgist Engineer

Starting at a whopping $89,408 annually, metallurgists research different ways to extract and treat metals. These professionals will discover how to streamline the manufacturing process and solder the materials during research.  

Metals Analyst 

In a similar vein, businesses rely on metals analysts to forecast trends. This will help investors decide which materials to use in the production line. As it’s a complex role, metals analysts earn around $85,720 every year.  

Quality Control Inspector 

Another popular position is as a quality control inspector. Employees check that products meet the company’s standards. On average, inspectors earn $74,483 every year.  

Which Job Will You Choose?

Now you know the best paying jobs in metal fabrications, it’s time to apply. 

There are many positions to consider, whether it’s dealing with the metals directly or a managerial position. The key is to outline your goals and decide which is the best fit. Good luck with your search!

If you find this post informative, check out the rest of our blog for similar content. 

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