NOTE: The following description is a GENERAL Overview of this career and not a description of a particular job posting.
Shipfitters will layout and fabricate metal structural parts such as plates, bulkheads, and frames within the hull of a vessel for riveting or welding. Shipfitters use such tools as shears, punches, drill presses, bending rolls, bending slabs, furnaces, saws, and metal presses up to 750 tons. Also, Shipfitters will need to be proficient in the use of Oxygen Acetylene cutting procedures, and have the ability to tack weld. Typical layout work will consist of preparing plates for shearing, planning and bench planning, angles for punching and shearing, making collars, brackets for installation, furnaced plate, airports and manholes. Typical installation tasks will be deck ladders, fittings for riggings, mooring equipment ventilating equipment, oil-tight hatches, dry cargo hatches and braces, king posts and masts, engine room floor plates, engine room grating, shell castings, stern frames, anchor handling, and stem casting. Fabrication assignments may consists of plumbing a transverse bulkhead, lifting a shell frame from a vessel, construction of and/or duplicating structural parts. The Shipfitter is familiar with such equipment as hydraulic jacks and pumps, steamboat ratchets, strongbacks, yokes, dogs and wedges, pneumatic tools and chalk lines.
National Median wages (2010): $16.60 hourly, $34,530 annually
VSRA Median Wage Report: $19.07 hourly
VSRA Shipfitter Entry-level/Helper: $13.73 hourly
Most shipfitter careers require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, and/or an associate's degree. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, and/or experience is required for these occupations, particularly in the use of career-related tools and work in a marine setting.