How Do I Become a Steel Detailer?

Jessica F. Black

Although a higher education is not always necessary to become a steel detailer, many employers prefer that candidates have a degree in steel detailing or an engineer related field. Degree programs will vary greatly depending on the location in which you attend school, but there are other fields that are directly related to this profession. You may want to consider an undergraduate degree in engineering or steel design, which are common degrees offered at predominately science based universities. This is a hands-on profession, and extensive training will be important to become a steel detailer.

Steel detailing jobs range from small scale designs to larger projects including bridges.
Steel detailing jobs range from small scale designs to larger projects including bridges.

A structural steel design degree program will prepare you for a career in steel detailing because this profession involves creating, designing, and drawing layouts for a large variety of steel structures. You will need to thoroughly research accredited programs to find course descriptions that fulfill the requirements to become a steel detailer. Most of these programs include topics such as introductory steel design, sustainable development, and several business management courses. Computer science classes will be necessary for this career because most structural designs are computerized. Blue print and construction courses will also be beneficial to become a steel detailer.

A steel detailer creates plans for steel constructions.
A steel detailer creates plans for steel constructions.

Some students opt to enroll in training programs that offer certification and licensing in steel detailing. Most locations do not require that you have a license to become a steel detailer, but any additional experience will increase your employment options, career advancement opportunities, and starting salaries. These hands-on training programs are designed to cover topics such as connection details, detailing conventions, erection drawings, shop drawings, project set-up and control, and contract documents and the detailing process. In addition to enhancing your knowledge of the industry, these programs will improve your resume by providing field related experience. In order to find a program that suits your needs, you should start by researching on the Internet, which is an excellent resource for continuing education and vocational programs.

Once you have completed your education process, you should explore the various steel detailing positions. There is a wide range of projects that are available in this profession, and some may require training courses after hiring. These jobs range from small scale designs such as hand rails or stairs to larger projects including bridges, skyscrapers, and parking facilities. You will need to have excellent communication skills because you may be working alongside fabricators, architects, engineers, construction crews, and other professionals.

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