Fabrication Engineer (Light)


A light fabrication engineer makes, installs and repairs sheet-metal products such as vents, machine guards, vats and aircraft bodywork.

Tasks and Duties:

  • examines drawings and other instructions for the job
  • draws the pattern on the sheet-metal and cuts it out
  • drills and punches holes in the metal for screws, bolts or rivets
  • folds, forms and shapes the metal
  • joins the metal pieces together
  • welds the seams of the metal
  • polishes the finished article
  • checks the quality of the finished product.


Light fabrication engineers need practical skills, measuring skills and an eye for detail. They also need to be skilled in interpreting drawings, and able to follow instructions.


Light fabrication engineers need to know about welding processes, different metals and their uses, and how to make and read drawings. They also need to be aware of safety procedures, and should understand basic maths.

Personal Qualities:

Light fabrication engineers should be accurate, practical and careful.

Physical Requirements:

Light fabrication engineers need to have strong arms and hands and good co-ordination.

Educational Requirements:

NCEA Level 1 in English, maths, science, graphics and workshop technology.

Entry Requirements:

A driver’s license is generally required.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for light fabrication engineers includes welding and experience working with metals and tools. Experience working in an engineering workshop, or jobs that involve packing or heavy lifting may also be helpful.

Training on the job

Many skills are gained on the job. Fabrication engineers (light) can gain further qualifications with workplace assessments.

Work Places

Light fabrication engineers work in workshops and factories.


Light fabrication engineers earn between $30,000 and $40,000 per year, with more for overtime.

Further Information

Employment opportunities in this occupation are growing in Southland and there is currently a shortage of trained sheet-metal workers. Growth is partly a result of growth in other industries for which sheet-metal articles are made, such as the dairy and winemaking industry.

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