of steel for a moment and you probably think of frameworks for tall
buildings or the hulls of huge ships. Steel is used behind the scenes
in nearly any industry you can name. As a steel detailer, you translate
engineering drawings and documents into detailed fabrication instructions
through shop detail drawings.
The shop detail drawing provides a precise picture of each steel
element and how it is to be made. This picture shows how every steel
component is joined, how every bolt and weld is defined and located.
Each component is dimensionally defined and given an identifying
mark. Essentially, each component is built on paper before it is
Where Will You Work?
As a steel detailer, you work at a steel fabrication or steel
You work an eight-hour day, five days per week, but overtime
is very common. You work in an office, making occasional shop
and site visits. Many of the projects are located across Canada
and throughout the United States, so travel could be involved.
How Much Will You Earn?
How Does the Future Look?
There is a critical shortage of steel detailers in North America
today. This situation is expected to exist for several years.
Computer technology is enhancing the productivity of the steel
detailer and is essential to his or her future.
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in mathematics and physics.
You need one year of a college-level steel-detailing course as
the minimum requirement for a junior detailer.
Steel detailers can be certified by the Steel Detailers Institute
of BC (SDIBC) and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians
of BC (ASTTBC). There are three levels of certification: Registered
Steel Detailer (RSD), Certified Steel Detailer (CSD) and Associate
Steel Detailer (ASD).
What Will You Need?
You must have an aptitude for math and physics, and you must
be detail oriented. A good working knowledge of computers is an
asset. You need to develop good interpersonal skills and be comfortable
contributing in a team environment as well as working alone.
Post Secondary Possibilities
Take a one year steel-detailing course, available at Vancouver
Community College or BCIT (within the drafting program).
- Canadian Institute of Steel Construction: www.cisc-icca.ca
- American Institute of Steel Construction: www.aisc.org
- Dowco Consultants Limited: www.dowco.ca
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources
of information applicable to education options for this technology.
Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.