Shipfitters fabricate and layout metal for building and repairing ships. They work for private companies as well naval shipyards. A shipfitter can be tasked with building, maintaining, and repairing small boats such as towboats and tugboats, as well as container ships, icebreakers, and ocean liners. Military shipfitters work on aircraft carriers, tankers, and submarines.


Understand shipyard operation and safety protocol.

Fitting, setting, and installing fabricated maritime structures.

Cutting and welding with a variety of processes.

Metal forming, bending, finishing, and rigging.

Ability to weld, repair, design, and layout plate or pipe materials.

Ability to work in shop/field environments and sometimes heights.

Education & Training

Education and training that can lead to a successful career may include:

Minimum Education

High school diploma or equivalent.

Recommended Education

Certificate in welding, metals fabrication, machining, etc.

Advanced Education

Associates degree in welding, metals fabrication, machining, etc.

Recommended Training

Related naval or shipyard work experience.

Advanced Training

Apprenticeship program.

Recommended Certification

AWS Certified Welder.

Highly motivated and self-directed.

Flexible and able to work in a team environment or independently.

Physically fit and manual dexterity.

Comfortable working with heights.

Mechanically inclined, able to interpret blueprints, and apply math concepts.

Shipfitters work in naval or shipyard environments; nearly all opportunities exist along the coastal regions.