Metal fabrication classes are set to return to KPU next year.
The school has set a course start date for early 2023.
“Beginning mid-February, KPU will offer a 23-week foundation program in metal fabrication,” KPU announced in a press release. “The program includes classroom instruction and shop sessions that give students the skills needed to start their careers.”
Mike Rumpeltes, a longtime KPU welding instructor, will be teaching metal fabrication when classes start up.
“All these welding booths, cabinetry, all these things around us, this is all part of metal fabricating,” he said in the release. “Fabricators build all these things.”
Metal fabrication is a “Red Seal” trade as noted by the Industry Training Authority. Certified metal fabricators are responsible for building most of the metal structures found in both industrial and commercial settings.
Metal fabrication as a course is returning after a seven-year absence.
According to the release, metal fabricators “use a variety of tools to cut, bend and form metal to the shapes outlined in engineered drawings.”
It notes, “working in shop or field locations, some fabricators see projects to the end, while others focus on just one part. Basic welding skills are also part of the job, as is mathematics and the ability to operate the relevant machinery.”
Rumpeltes added that job opportunities in metal fabrication are opening up in many areas.
As such, “metal fabricators can work for sheet metal fabrication and welding shops, and for manufacturers of structural steel, boilers, heavy machinery and transportation equipment,” the release noted.
“They can also work in the shipbuilding and mining industries. Fabricators also build careers in fields that require more intricate metalwork, such as crafting tanks for dairy farms and breweries or working in residential and commercial construction.”
Rumpeltes said metal fabrication as a trade requires someone that can juggle a bunch of different skills. Fabricators need to be able work with their hands, plan out projects, and, oftentimes, use creativity to solve unique problems.
“They can have long careers in everything from heavy industry to high-end construction.”
Rumpeltes said many workers entering the industry choose welding over metal fabrication, despite metal fabricators often drawing above-average incomes.
“Part of the trade’s appeal is the satisfaction in taking ordinary steel and building something great and impressive,” he explained. “After a process of planning, cutting, bending and welding, there’s beauty in every finished product.”
“Our program is built to equip students with the right technical skills to succeed in the metal fabrication trade,” said Laura McDonald, dean of KPU’s faculty of trades and technology.
“Students will gain foundational skills that employers need in many rapidly developing industries.”