Welding Steel

Fabricated Structural Metal

The Fabricated Structural Metal sub-industry consists of companies re-fabricating metal buildings and panels. In addition, they manufacture structural metal and metal plate products.  These companies are known for fabricating iron and steel for structural purposes and metal sections.  Examples include bridges and buildings, ships, boats, and barges.  To help visualize what this industry entails, take a look at these images:

Bridge Building, Metal Building and Ships


The Structural Metal industry employs a little over 450,000 employees.  The ironworker is the occupation known for making metal structures appear before us.  These workers use shear, rod-bending machines and welding equipment to cut, bend, and weld.

Iron worker reinforcing rebar. We cover more about Iron workers below.

Roughly, 25% of all Structural Metal workers are welders, cutters, and brazers, encompassing around 115,000 workers.  OSHA estimates there are 562,000 total welders in the US.  Think of it this way, essentially 20% of all US welders work in the Structural Metal industry.  Based on these stats, Welding safety gear is essential for protecting workers from metal spatters, molten metal, UV and radiant heat.

A worker stick welding on structural metal. We breakdown this process on our Welding Protection page, along with Mig Welding, Tig Welding, Cutting and Torch Welding.


Metal Manufacturing Occupations

Here is a look at all occupations found across this industry. Click on an occupation to expand and learn more.

  • Assemblers and Fabricators 

    Assemble finished products, along with parts and pieces that go into them.  There are over 1.8 million people employed across the US in an assembly and fabrication position.  You will find this worker assembling bolts, using many different types of tools, and moving heavy parts.  There are around 56,000 of these workers in Structural Metal.

  • Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters 

    Operate machines that saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal.  There are around 19,000 of these workers in the Structural Metal industry.  You will find these workers aligning metal parts and grinding out sharp edges.  This makes cut resistant gloves a high priority for this worker. Common Job titles for this position are Die Setter, Press Operator, Machine Setter and Operator, Press Punch Operator.

  • Forming Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders 

    Operate machines to taper, shape and form metal.  Around 3,500 workers are found in Structural Metal.  You will find these workers removing dies, forging hammers and moving metalwork pieces.  Common Job titles for this position are Forger, Blacksmith, Hammer Operator, and Forge Press Operators

  • Industrial Maintenance Workers 

    Lubricates machines, changes parts, and performs machinery maintenance. You will find these workers cleaning machine and machine parts.  Cleaning solvents, oily parts and metalworking fluids are a definite concern for these workers.  Common Job titles for this position are Lubricator, Maintenance Man, and Oiler.

  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics 

    Worker activities include repairing, installing, and adjusting industrial machinery.  There are around 1,700 of these workers in Structural Metal.  You will find these workers cutting and welding metal to repair broken metal parts.  Job titles for this position are Fixer, Industrial and Master Mechanic.

  • Machinists 

    Operate machine tools to produce precision parts.  There are around 6,500 machinists working in this industry.  Job titles for this position Gear Machinist, Machine Operator and Maintenance Machinist.

  • Metal and plastic workers 

    Operate machines designed to cut, shape and form metal.  Over 40% of the workforce in this industry falls into this occupation, roughly 105,000.

  • Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 

    Keeps and repairs machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of an establishment in repair.  There are around 4,000 of these workers in the Structural Metal Industry.  You will find these workers pipe fitting, repairing equipment, and repairing buildings.   Job titles for this position are Maintenance Worker, Maintenance Mechanic, and Facilities Manager.

  • Machine Tool Cutting Setters and Operators 

    Operate cutting and forming machines.  There are roughly 24,000 of these workers in Structural Metal.  Common Job titles for this position are CNC Machine setter, CNC machinist, and CNC Operator. Exposure to hazardous equipment is always a concern.

  • Rolling Machine Setters and Operators 

    Operate machines that plate, roll and flatten steel.  Around 2,200  of this occupation works in Structural Metal. You will find these workers around shears, grinders and adjusting machines.  Common Job titles for this position are Rolling Mill Operator, Mill Operator and Roll Form Operator. 

  • Sheet Metal workers 

    There are roughly 18,000 of these workers in Structural Metal. Check out our entire Industry page for more detailed information about these workers.

  • Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters 

    Fabricate, position, align and fit parts of structural metal products. There are a little over 25,000 of these workers in Structural Metal. You will find these workers positioning welding parts and moving parts into position. Common Job titles for this position are Fabricator, Mill Beam Fitter, Structural Steel Fitter and Layout Man.

  • Structural Iron and Steel Worker 

    Raise and place iron columns. There are a little over 2,000 of these workers in the Structural Metal industry. You will find these workers connecting beams and aligning bolts.  Common Job titles for this position are Iron Worker, Steel Fabricator, Structural Steel Erector, and Steel Worker.

  • Welding, Soldering and Brazing Machine Operators 

    Operate welding, soldering or brazing machines that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products. The Structural Metal industry employs around 58,000 employees. You will find these workers adding material to work pieces, joining metal components, and annealing finished work pieces. Common Job titles for this position are Fabricator, Mig Welder, Spot Welder, Fitter-Welder, and Braze Operators.

  • Welding Cutters and Fitters 

    Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand soldering, and brazing equipment to weld/join metal components, fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products. There are around 48,000 of these workers are employed in Structural Metal. You will find these workers welding components in flat, vertical or overhead positions. Common Job titles for this position are Maintenance Welder, Mig Welder, and Welder/Fabricator.


Here is one more stat to consider.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 10% of all US eye injuries result from the work of welders, cutters, and brazers.  Well, you don’t have to be Einstein to realize this industry is concerned with eye injuries.  We’ve got these workers covered with shaded welding glasses.  We cover all welding gear in our welding gear protection page.

"Safety First is Safety Always"
Charles M. Haye

When Structural Metal Workers are shaping metal, they must always be ready for workplace injuries.  This means they must first know the hazards faced, from welding sparks, to cuts while grinding, and UV radiation.  We have got this industry's workers covered with high quality welding gear, stylish eyewear and comfortable protective garments.  MCR Safety, We Protect People!


Common Fabricated Structural Metal Hazards

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Fabricated Structural Metal Focused Industry-Leading Protection

Pinch Hazard

Impact Protection

Protect your hands from falling objects and pinch points with MCR Safety's impact resistant technology.
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Cut Protection

Cut hazards are everywhere in daily life. You can't afford to be using the wrong safety gear.
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Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR)

Superior back of hand protection, the "Forgotten Zone", with Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR). Full flexibility and range of motion derived from rubber's elasticity.
D3O Impact Protection

D3O®

D3O® technology delivers the highest performing impact protection to protect from hazards at work.
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Dyneema®

Dyneema® Diamond Technology fiber makes possible higher levels of cut protection with enhanced dexterity. Proof is in the numbers...
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DuPont™ Kevlar®

DuPont™ Kevlar® is the ideal choice for applications requiring cut and heat, due to its ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

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MCR Safety manufactures and supplies Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Simply put, WE PROTECT PEOPLE!  We are known world-wide for our extensive product line depth surrounding gloves, glasses, and garments spanning across numerous industries.  We offer the total package of safety gear encompassing industrial gloves, safety glasses, protective garments, welding gear, industrial boots, Flame Resistant (FR) gear, face shields, and much more.  From a glove standpoint alone, MCR Safety manufacturers and supplies over 1,000 different style gloves. Here are some of the many reasons MCR Safety is your go to source for PPE:

  • Global PPE manufacturer, with operations stretching across 5 continents. 
  • Direct manufacturer of over 50% of all product, ensuring the highest level of quality. 
  • In conjunction with quality control measures resulting from direct manufacturing, our ITC Innovations Technology Center ensures another layer of testing glove quality. The ITC Lab is the only ISO 17025 accredited lab to perform ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 cut resistance, abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, and conductive heat resistance testing in North America. We offer no cost testing for users interested in knowing the quality level of current PPE being worn or for potential new products being considered.
  • Winner of multiple new product innovation awards, most recently being the DM3 eyewear
  • Dedicated 360° Safety Specialists ready for onsite PPE consultations.

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