fabrication engineering course

A Guide To Fabrication Engineering Courses: Skills, Qualifications And Career Opportunities

18 July 2023

Fabrication engineering is in high demand in New Zealand. This type of engineering involves the design, fabrication and installation of metal structures and is a very practical path for people with a passion for engineering. Fabrication engineering courses and training can teach you the skills you need to become a successful fabrication engineer in New Zealand.

Are you interested in this type of engineering? If you are, an apprenticeship in this field may be perfect for you.

However, if you’re interested in courses that are shorter than an apprenticeship, we at ATNZ are just about to introduce two new NZQA-approved NZ Certificates in Welding. Both courses are only 42 weeks long.

First, the Level 3 NZ Certificate in Welding is a basic course which is designed for people who are interested in a career in welding and intend to enter or are already in the industry. This leads to the Level 4 NZ Certificate in Welding, which provides graduates with the skills to work as skilled welders in various engineering, fabrication, steel construction and manufacturing workplaces.

The Level 4 Certificate leads to an apprenticeship in Engineering Fabrication.

What Is Fabrication Engineering?

Fabrication engineers all over Aotearoa help to create, install and repair all kinds of structures nationwide.

These engineers use a variety of skills, including welding and machining, to create metal structures that meet the needs of their clients. As a fabrication engineer, you’ll deal with metal products such as vents, handrails, beams, girders, rails and more for construction projects. These beneficial skills can help you find job opportunities in many industries, including construction and vehicle parts manufacturing and repair.

As an apprentice, you’ll also earn money for the work you do.

Fabrication engineering courses can help you get started on the path to becoming a fully-trained and experienced New Zealand fabrication engineer. This position requires NZQA Level 4 training.

As with any important career, you’ll need to develop several key skills to be successful. These include:

  • Problem-Solving Skills: Fabrication engineers need to be able to identify and solve problems successfully and efficiently
  • Technical Skills. Of course, these engineers need to have a strong understanding of metalworking techniques. Welding, machining and even 3D printing are utilised in this field. They also need to be familiar with engineering principles, such as stress analysis and fluid dynamics
  • Communication Skills: As with any professional engineer, fabrication engineers need to communicate effectively with their clients, colleagues and other people they interact with.
  • Teamwork Skills. These engineers often work on projects with other engineers, technicians and tradies. They need to be able to work effectively as part of a team and collaborate with others to achieve common goals.

Fabrication engineering courses can help you work on all of the above-mentioned skills and more so that you can become a successful professional in this very rewarding field.

So, how do you start? You can apply for an apprenticeship with us at ATNZ. We’re proud to offer many opportunities to passionate, aspiring people who dream of becoming successful engineers.

In order to qualify for our fabrication programmes, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or be a permanent resident.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age (unless early leaving exemption, or ELX, has been granted)
  • You must have signed an apprenticeship training agreement and hold a relevant position in an engineering or manufacturing organisation.


Additionally, it’s recommended that individuals hold the National Certificate in Education Achievement level 2 or equivalent before they apply for any fabrication engineering courses.

We offer these three apprenticeship programmes in this field:

Heavy Fabrication

As a heavy fabrication engineer, you’ll typically work with steel that’s at least 4mm thick. Heavy fabrication engineers often work with structural steel for construction projects. However, they also work with many other things, such as boilers and significant structures.

Heavy fabrication engineers can find jobs as process plant fabricators, fabricators for heavy transport equipment and machinery and more.

Light Fabrication

Light fabrication engineers, as opposed to heavy fabrication engineers, typically work with lightweight metals like stainless steel and aluminium. They generally work on things like handrails, balustrades and benchtops, and parts and components in the marine industry.

After completing your fabrication engineering course and gaining the experience and qualifications you need, you may be able to find a job as a sheet metal worker or a process plant fabricator.

Steel Construction

Engineers specialising in steel construction usually work with steel at least 4mm thick. Steel construction workers often work for the construction industry, working on strong structural steel for projects. However, they can also work on and repair things like boilers and significant structures.

Steel construction engineers can find career paths as structural steelworkers, working on durable steel creations for various purposes.

How Can I Start On The Path To Becoming A Fabrication Engineer?

If you’re ready to make the most out of your enthusiasm for engineering and your opportunities, you can book a chat with us at ATNZ. We strive to help aspiring engineers with our fabrication engineering courses, and we look forward to speaking with you!

We encourage you to explore our website if you are interested in an engineering apprenticeship. You can book a chat with us, or you can email our team at .
Develop the skills to improve New Zealand and your future with ATNZ!