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Common Trade Specialties in Manufacturing and What They Do

The manufacturing process requires different services at different stages of product development. The earlier stages focus on designing and developing the product. Then, the company will need to procure raw materials, components, and assembly services. After the product is assembled, it will need to be packaged and shipped to the customer. By understanding the common services and specialization available in manufacturing, you can better identify how to improve or add to your skills and grow as a professional. As such, here are the most common trade specialties in manufacturing and how these services contribute to the production floor:


Most fabricators work in factories or industrial settings. They work by transforming raw materials, most commonly metal, into finished products using specialized tools. Through this trade, you would require the necessary skills to cut, shape, or bend materials to create parts for machines and other products. This typically involves using machine tools such as lathes, saws, shears, and presses to shape the parts. This requires excellent coordination and attention to detail because any mistake can result in losing the raw material and delay production.


In welding, two pieces of metal are joined together by heating them until they’re molten and then cooling them so that the metals bind. You’ll need to use different tools to create the heat required for welding which can include electric arc welders, oxy-fuel torches or plasma torches. After joining the metals using these tools, cleaning the weld is necessary to ensure it will hold and won’t cause any corrosion. You can do this by getting effective weld cleaning solutions that can eliminate any impurities and leave a smooth, sealed finish. So if you’re interested in learning how to weld metals, you would have to learn how to use these welding and cleaning tools. With the right tools and skills, welders can create strong and durable joints that will last for years.


Assemblers are responsible for putting together different subcomponents or parts to create larger components while following specific instructions regarding their assembly. Once you have all the needed pieces, you will start putting the product together. The process will vary depending on the product being assembled. However, most products require a combination of manual and machine assembly. You must learn to use various tools to build parts, including power drills, screwdrivers, and wrenches. Sometimes, you may need to use computer-guided machines to handle subcomponents with better precision. By following the assembly instructions and using the right tools, you can ensure that products are made quickly and correctly.

CNC Machinist

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines are operated by CNC machinists. Through this trade, you can use machines to create parts and products from various materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Likewise, you must be able to interpret blueprints and technical manuals to understand the specifications for each project. You would also need to be familiar with the various tools and settings on the CNC machine to maximize its use and produce quality results. Similarly, you are likely responsible for maintaining the machine you would be using, so you must have the necessary skills to troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the manufacturing process.

Quality Inspectors

Quality inspectors play an important role in ensuring that products meet safety and performance standards. Most quality inspectors use a combination of visual inspection and testing with specialized equipment. Visual inspection is a key part of the inspection process. Although most machines are designed to detect possible defects, some processes require people to spot errors and ensure the equipment works properly. In addition, you must also learn to use software to document the results of your inspections and ensure these records are free from errors. Doing so will allow you to provide the necessary data when making informed decisions regarding the performance and quality of various products.

Worker discusses a specific part with inspector


Pipefitters install, maintain, and repair piping systems. They work in a variety of settings, including commercial and industrial. Pipefitters must be able to read and interpret blueprints, as well as follow safety regulations. Most pipefitters use various hand tools, such as wrenches and saws. Others may use power tools, such as threading machines. In addition, pipefitters must be familiar with the types of pipes used in their work. For example, they may use copper piping for plumbing or steel piping for gas lines. By understanding the different materials and applications, pipefitters can ensure piping systems are installed correctly and properly.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition, keeping up with the latest trends in your field is important. By learning new trade specialties in manufacturing, you can ensure that you have the necessary skills to produce quality products. Additionally, these trades can help improve your efficiency and productivity while reducing errors. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your skills and stay competitive in today’s market, consider learning a new trade specialty in manufacturing.

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