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What Is a Metalworking Specialist and How to Become One

What Does a Metalworking Specialist Do?

As a metalworking specialist, your duties and responsibilities can range widely according to the needs of your employer and your specialization as a metalworker. Metalworking is both art and trade, so you may assemble or fabricate large sections for ships or structures, machine precision-grade parts for engines and mechanical devices, or create jewelry and ornamental objects. In industrially-minded jobs, you might work in automotive plants, aerospace facilities, or in shipyards, using specialized machinery and tools to build pieces according to specifications laid out by supervising engineers and architects. You work as part of a team, collaborating with other industrial and design professionals to achieve common goals.

How to Become a Metalworking Specialist

The qualifications required to become a metalworking specialist vary according to the responsibilities of the position in question. A silversmith is a metalworking specialist that does not require a particular educational background, while a person fabricating a ship’s hull requires at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, coupled with years of practical experience to understand the materials, tools, and processes necessary. Many industrial metalworkers begin their careers through apprenticeships, often coordinated by trade unions. You must have considerable mechanical skills and the ability to read blueprints, collaborate with colleagues, and communicate timelines and requirements to stakeholders.