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Details for Lay-Out Workers, Metal and Plastic


Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, tubes, structural shapes, castings, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.


  • Fit and align fabricated parts to be welded or assembled.
  • Plan and develop layouts from blueprints and templates, applying knowledge of trigonometry, design, effects of heat, and properties of metals.
  • Lay out and fabricate metal structural parts such as plates, bulkheads, and frames.
  • Mark curves, lines, holes, dimensions, and welding symbols onto workpieces, using scribes, soapstones, punches, and hand drills.
  • Compute layout dimensions, and determine and mark reference points on metal stock or workpieces for further processing, such as welding and assembly.
  • Locate center lines and verify template positions, using measuring instruments such as gauge blocks, height gauges, and dial indicators.
  • Lift and position workpieces in relation to surface plates, manually or with hoists, and using parallel blocks and angle plates.
  • Plan locations and sequences of cutting, drilling, bending, rolling, punching, and welding operations, using compasses, protractors, dividers, and rules.
  • Inspect machined parts to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Design and prepare templates of wood, paper, or metal.
  • Brace parts in position within hulls or ships for riveting or welding.
  • Add dimensional details to blueprints or drawings made by other workers.
  • Install doors, hatches, brackets, and clips.
  • Apply pigment to layout surfaces, using paint brushes.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Related Careers

  • Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Molding and Casting Workers
  • Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
  • Semiconductor Processors
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
  • Tool and Die Makers
Wages for this career
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