Engineering fabrication involves cutting, joining, shaping and finishing metal to maintain, repair or make structures or product from metal. Fabricating engineers may also apply coatings and produce metal casting molds.
Fabricating engineers are sometimes referred to as materials engineers, and the field generally requires a bachelor's degree in engineering or materials science for entry. The median pay for a material engineer in 2012 was $85,150, or around $40.94 per hour. There were around 23,200 jobs for materials engineers in the United States in 2012, and the field is not anticipated to grow. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates only a 1 percent growth, indicating little or no change in the number of materials engineers needed by 2022.
Fabricating engineers may specialize in a number of different trades. Blacksmiths are fabricating engineers that make and repair equipment and machinery; they may also create fences and gates. Heavy fabrication engineers may work as boilermakers that design and produce boilers that are used in applications such as ships.
Fabricating engineers should enjoy working with machinery, have an interest in computer-programmable equipment, possess good hand and eye coordination, be patient and safety conscious and be able to work both independently and as part of a team.