Many industries need their employees to work with metals and alloys to create their product. Manufacturing anything from building construction to garden tools and other metal products requires workers who know how to fabricate, form and cut metal. This kind of knowledge can come from apprenticeship or training.
Some metal vendors and fabricators will teach their own employees using on-the-job training, but most prefer at least some prior experience through classes, an apprenticeship or self-study. Consider the following metals education and training options:
- A metal fabrication class can help teach you about the type of equipment used and get you ready for more advanced techniques.
- Apprenticeships are available in the metal industry, usually through sponsors or colleges and vocational schools with partnerships.
- Working with scrap metal or industrial metals on your own can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in the metalworking industry, provided you have some prior experience.
Enroll in an accredited industrial metals classMany trade schools and some high schools have classes available in metal fabrication and metals. These classes are generally accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, and cover a wide range of skills, including equipment identification, safety procedures, arc welding, pipe welding and sheet metal fabrication. Classes like these can teach you everything you need to know about working with metal and metal alloys and help you pass your certification exam.
Get an apprenticeship in the metal industryAn apprenticeship allows you to get real working knowledge of metals, and work in a one-on-one basis with your teacher. Instead of learning metal fabrication and cutting in a classroom, apprentices learn through on-the-job training by assisting certified metalworkers. This kind of path can give you more information about the business aspects of metalworking and metal fabricators, as well as allow you to work in a non-traditional learning environment. Apprenticeships can be offered directly from industrial metal suppliers and fabricators, or from colleges and vocational schools with partners in the industry.
Palm Beach Community College's metalworking apprenticeship program.
Find information on specific metal products projectsNot all employers require certification or class experience to work with metals and alloy metals. If you have some prior experience with welding and metalworking through a job, hobby or class, then teaching yourself is an option. Instructional materials are available online from several sources, allowing you to experience a wide variety of projects and skills.
- Purchasing metal industry equipment on your own can be expensive. It's often cheaper to enroll in classes where equipment will be provided for you, or participate in an apprenticeship program, where you can use the metalworking tools already available.