What they do
Steel fixers shape and fit the steel bars or mesh structures that are used to reinforce concrete in construction projects. They read building plans to determine what materials are required for a particular job and set out the materials that they are going to use. Steel fixers cut and shape steel bars, and weld, wire or clip structural steel materials into place. They also fabricate other reinforcing structures such as beams, footing pads or other special units. Steel fixers work all around the state on both large and small construction projects, from building new houses in our suburbs, to erecting schools, hospitals or other large buildings in our regional towns and remote areas.
Steel fixers work on building sites as well as in pre-cast concrete plants. Conditions may be loud and dirty, and they may work at heights, which can be dangerous. They usually work regular hours, but may be required to work longer hours when aiming to meet deadlines.
Tools and technologies
Steel fixers use a variety of hand and power tools, including industrial wire or bolt cutters, guillotines and power saws. They work with steel rods, bars and mesh structures, as well as also working with concrete They also use welding gear to weld steel structures into place. As they sometimes work at heights they also use ladders, scaffolding and elevated work platforms. They are also required to wear safety gear such as helmets, work boots and harnesses. They may also use hydraulic jacks and tensioning mechanisms to test their work.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a steel fixer, you usually need to undertake a traineeship in steel fixing (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 18 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a steel fixer in Western Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work Licence from WorkSafe.
Steel fixers working in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Training Card (commonly known as a "White Card"). In WA, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by WorkSafe.