Top 25 Best Paying Jobs In Metal Fabrications in 2024

Working in metal fabrication can be a fulfilling profession with enough possibility for advancement. You can earn a high wage if you enjoy working with your hands, paying close attention to detail, and producing high-quality products. Exploring high-paying career opportunities in the metal fabrication industry will help you select a career path that aligns with your experience and long-term objectives. This article examines some of the highest-paying occupations in metal fabrication and the fundamental responsibilities of each role.

1. Ironworkers

An ironworker is an additional excellent profession in metal fabrication. In the metal fabrication sector, there are numerous job opportunities. Still, if money is your first objective, you should consider becoming an ironworker. Their responsibility is installing and repairing the metal framework of buildings and other structures.  It is an excellent opportunity to learn about a range of metals, as they deal with materials such as steel, aluminum, and brass. And because ironworkers are in high demand, they can typically anticipate a solid salary. The average annual wage for an ironworker is approximately $50,000.

2. Boilermaker

Their annual wages are approximately equivalent to USD 65,360 on average.

In the field of metal fabrication, the primary responsibilities of a boilermaker include being in charge of the installation and assembly of boilers and other large containers that are required to transport liquids and gases. In addition to these responsibilities, a boilermaker may also be responsible for designing boilers. Other duties of a boilermaker include the following:

  • Consulting with customers with the requirements of their respective industries
  • Shaping, blending and sealing of metal to develop a vat that is airtight and functions under hot-pressure
  •  Traveling to worksites and overseeing the task being executed
  •  Carefully observing the boiler gauge.
  • Making required adjustments and changes to the pipe, if necessary
  • Repairing the metal body of the boiler, if necessary
  •  Developing the schematics per the specifications.

3. Millwright

Their annual average wage is approximately $56,489

The primary responsibilities of a millwright include operating industrial equipment and machinery at a manufacturing facility or construction site. This position aims to assemble, install, and transport industry-related equipment and tools. A millwright is also responsible for its maintenance and repair. Additional duties include:

  • Reviewing and managing blueprints
  • Managing and preparing the work sites
  • Managing machine parts
  • Incorporating parts into equipment in a precise, measured manner.
  • Replacement of faulty machinery components

4. Welder

Their Average Annual Wage Is $44,000 to $52,000

Welding is one of the most significant occupations in the metal manufacturing business. Welders are responsible for connecting metal components into goods or structures. Welding is an occupation that demands much training and practice. There are numerous welding techniques, and each welder possesses a distinct skill set. Welders can specialize in a specific welding technique, or they might be multiskilled and able to weld using multiple techniques.

5. Solderer

The average annual salary for a solderer is between $36,610 and $56,590. A solderer is a skilled tradesperson who uses a high-powered torch to unite two pieces of metal. Solderers are responsible for making clean, precise, and accurate welds that suit their clients’ demands.

The best solderers possess a steady hand, superb eye-hand coordination, and superior fine motor abilities. In addition, they must be able to work in confined places and follow verbal and written instructions.

The majority of solderers finish a four-year apprenticeship program. During their apprenticeship, they receive on-the-job training and classroom instruction in welding safety, blueprint reading, and welding theory. After completing their internship, solderers earn an average of $36,610 annually. 10% of earners in this industry earn more than $56,590 annually.

6. Industrial Engineer

Their average annual pay is $74,344.

Industrial engineers are responsible for evaluating production operations and implementing effective manufacturing systems. Industrial engineers examine the optimal methods for developing metal goods in the metal fabrication sector, such as acquiring raw materials, setting production schedules, training staff, and minimizing waste. Industrial engineers are also accountable for enhancing quality control procedures and boosting the productivity and efficiency of every manufacturer on the factory floor.

7. CNC Machinist

Their average annual pay is $67,360.

In industrial manufacturing plants, a CNC machinist is responsible for operating CNC machines to produce various items, including metal components and structures. CNC machinists follow assembly instructions, load metal materials into the CNC machine, weld components together, verify and test the quality and durability of produced products, and load metal materials into the CNC machine. In addition to operating and maintaining the CNC machine, the CNC machinist is responsible for unloading raw materials after each manufacturing run.

8. Materials Scientist

The average salary range for materials scientists is between $84,850 and $145,620 per year. A materials scientist examines the qualities of materials and creates new applications for them. It can involve investigating the structure of materials, their behavior when subjected to various circumstances, and the manufacturing processes. Materials scientists typically possess a bachelor’s degree in materials science or engineering, while some may hold a master’s or doctoral degree. Typically, they work in research and development, engineering, or production.

9. CNC Programmer

Their estimated annual compensation comes to approximately USD 65,283 on average.

In the field of metal fabrication, a CNC programmer’s key responsibilities are designing and developing software for CNC machines, which are used to cut, shape, and create products such as metal sheeting in an automated manner. Other tasks that fall under a CNC programmer’s purview include the following:

  • Putting together the pieces of the puzzle
  • Instructions regarding the program that need to be interpreted
  • Produce the correct number of units of the item.
  • Find out what kinds of tools are and how many are needed for the job.
  • Construction of a code repository to construct programs
  • Including designs in the computer numerical control (CNC) software

10. Fabricator

They make approximately 58 816 USD annually as their average pay. In the field of metal fabrication, the primary responsibilities of a fabricator are to create and develop the many components or portions of machines and other essential pieces of equipment. Cutting, shaping, and bending metal components and filling them as needed are all part of the work responsibilities. Other responsibilities include:

  •  Selecting the proper tools and machinery, such as cutters, dills, sheers
  • Measuring completed or finished things
  •  Evaluating the quality of metal components
  • And preparing finished objects for delivery.

11. Press Brake Operators

Their Average Annual Salary Ranges from $35,790 to $54,490

Press brake operators install and run equipment bends, molds, and stamp metal components. They are responsible for analyzing and comprehending blueprints and engineering drawings to identify the proper machine configuration.

Operators must be capable of setting up the machine, selecting the proper tools, and loading the material. Additionally, they must be able to monitor the process and make required adjustments. Some operators may also be responsible for quality control inspections of finished products.

Press brake operators can find employment in numerous automotive, aerospace, and appliance manufacturing industries.

12. Metallurgical  Engineer

Their annual salary average is $83,000.

The basic minimum educational requirement for this position is a bachelor’s degree. Metallurgical engineers specialize in forging, metals, and ores. They have the option of working in either the field of research that seeks to facilitate ease. And the efficiency of ore extraction from mines or the research that seeks to establish which types of metals are suitable for usage in a specific situation.

For metallurgy-trained engineers, identifying the best metal mixes for a project can determine the success of the construction of, among other things, buildings, autos, and bridges.

13. Tool And Die Maker

The average income for a tool and die manufacturer is $51,000 per year.

A tool and die maker is responsible for both the fabrication of tools and the design of dies per standards. The job involves understanding the materials, machinery, and tools.

Most of these positions require a higher degree of education and training. Although it is possible to enter most of them with less expertise, you will need time and experience to get a higher wage. If you’re looking for a way to break into the industry, the following tips can help you get your foot in the door.

For the vast majority of positions in the metal fabrication business, an apprenticeship will be necessary. Attending select community colleges and vocational schools can also provide training in skilled trades. Most of these positions will have a steep learning curve and require both time and practice to master.

14. Metalizing Machine Operator

Their annual average salary is $34,000.

A metallic coating is applied to the surface of an object during the metalization process. Aluminum is a popular material since it does not corrode and typically comes in the form of a powder. However, it can be any metal, and its purpose can range from just decorative to highly functional.

A person who runs a metalizing machine must know how to do it safely, the fundamental processes behind the equipment and how to maintain it effectively.

15. Construction Superintendent

Their average annual pay is $80,920.

Superintendents of construction are responsible for directing the entire process of constructing a new structure for a client, including demolition, construction, and inspection. They obtain all necessary materials and supplies, including steel girders, scaffolding, concrete, lumber, and sheet metal. Supervisors of construction employ and instruct professionals to shape and cut the metal infrastructure for their buildings, then schedule inspectors to verify the buildings’ structural integrity. They also monitor the project’s budget and schedule.

16. Metallographer

Their average annual salary range is between $51,000 and $62,000

A metallographer conducts laboratory tests on samples of metals and alloys to provide information for developing more efficient production procedures. They evaluate the crystal structure, porosity, and homogeneity of different metals. And alloys using photomicrographs and macroscopic drawings. They are also responsible for providing studies on the properties of metals and metallic alloys and recommending their application in production and manufacturing. Other roles include supervising laboratory personnel and cooperating with them to conduct tests and analyze results.

17. Sheet Metal Mechanic

Their average annual wage is $64,337.

A sheet metal mechanic’s responsibilities include cutting, shaping, and installing sheet metal equipment, mainly for roofing, drainage pipes, air conditioning systems, and ventilation ducts. They examine the designs of a location and form the sheet metal to the exact dimensions of the area. Sheet metal mechanics cut and align the metal, produce uniform seams, and install the final product.

18. Sheet Metal Foreman

Their annual salary range is $48,500 to $62,500 on average.

As a sheet metal foreman, you oversee installers, journeymen, and any apprentices you hire for day-to-day field work. You supervise a crew, delegate work to each person, discuss all safety concerns, and offer PPE (PPE). You must attend meetings with the superintendent and engineers to discuss plans, project requirements, needed materials and equipment, the budget, timeline, and workforce. Before each job begins, you supply the general superintendent with precise inventories of materials, tools, and consumables, arrange subcontractors into the primary schedule, and send weekly daily log summaries. Other responsibilities include documenting crew member safety or policy infractions and conducting job site studies to identify safety risks. You also monitor field hours and provide updated projections for project milestones to ensure that the project is on schedule and under budget.

19. Goldsmith

Their Average Annual Salary Ranges from $49,890 to $80,000

There is no denying that goldsmithing is a rewarding profession. You can earn a substantial income if you have the ability and talent to produce exquisite jewelry.

In the United States, the average income for a goldsmith is $49,890 per year. 10% of goldsmiths, however, earn above $80,000 annually. Therefore, you can earn a lot of money if you are skilled in this sector. Consequently, you should investigate the highest-paying jobs to make good money in metal fabrication!

20. Metal Stud Framer

Framing with metal studs is one of the highest-paying tasks in the industry of metal fabrications. The average hourly wage for a metal stud framer is $19.23, or $40,160 annually.

In metal fabrication, there are many different types of employment, but metal stud framers are in high demand due to the rising popularity of steel frame building. Using steel beams and panels, metal stud framers are responsible for constructing the framework for walls and ceilings.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in metal stud framing, you must have excellent arithmetic skills and the ability to read and interpret blueprints. You must also be able to use power tools and large machinery.

21. Plating Engineer

Their average salary range is $77,500 to $110,000 annually.

As a plating or electroplating engineer, your key responsibilities will include manufacturing conductors based on client drawings and resolving any emerging engineering challenges. You also collaborate closely with suppliers to get specifications for any new material, product, or equipment required to fulfill customer needs. Other responsibilities include:

  • Enhancing the effectiveness of the plating process by inspecting scraps.
  • Offering solutions and enhancements to persistent problems.
  • Conducting experiments to meet or exceed client plating specifications.

You must adhere to federal and state standards concerning hazardous waste, industrial waste, and the environment.

22. Metal Finisher

The average salary of a metal finisher is $82,310 per year. A metal finisher is a skilled craftsperson who uses metals to manufacture various items, such as jewelry and auto parts. Metal finishing might entail plating, polishing, anodizing, or other processes that alter the surface appearance or qualities of the metal.

Typically, metal finishers hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some businesses may demand further training or certification. Metal finishers must be able to read and follow instructions and pay close attention to detail To prevent errors.

If you are interested in a career in metal finishing, there are several steps you can take to improve your employment prospects. Start by completing a vocational or apprenticeship to acquire the required skills. To be successful in this industry, you must have strong problem-solving abilities and the ability to work well under pressure.

23. Metallurgist

The typical annual compensation for a metallurgist is $82,600; the top 10% of earners earn more than $118,000. Metallurgists often supervise the manufacture of metal goods in the industrial business. They may also contribute to the extraction of metals from the earth in the mining sector.

Metallurgists use their expertise in metals to ensure the correct and secure production of goods. In addition, they aim to enhance the quality of metal products by creating innovative manufacturing procedures.

If you are interested in becoming a metallurgist, you must have a bachelor’s degree in metallurgy or a closely related discipline. Additionally, you may be required to have expertise working with metals to secure a job in this position.

24. Jeweler

Their average annual salary is $92,000

Gold, silver, and platinum are common metals used by jewelers in the creation of exquisite jewelry. Additionally, they frequently work with other precious jewels. To create high-quality jewelry, jewelers must have a keen eye for detail and exceptional craftsmanship.

25. Machinist

The average annual salary range for machinists is between $43,640 and $62,610. A machinist is a qualified individual who controls machine tools to make or change metal parts. In addition to manufacturing plants, machinists can also be found in repair shops and laboratories, among other industrial contexts.

The median annual compensation for machinists in the United States is $43,640, somewhat more than the median yearly salary for all jobs. Those with special training and expertise as machinists might earn even more. The top 10% of machinists make at least $62,610 each year.

To become a machinist, you must complete a vocational program or an apprenticeship. Some machinists get a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a similar discipline.


The metal fabrication industry continues to expand, and there are increased opportunities for qualified personnel in this field. Each career presents distinct difficulties and rewards, so take your time and select the one that best suits your interests. You can pursue a successful and happy career in metal fabrication if you have the necessary skills and training.

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