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Layout Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Lays 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.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Fits and aligns fabricated parts to be welded or assembled.
  • Plans and develops layouts from blueprints and templates, applying knowledge of trigonometry, design, effects of heat, and properties of metals.
  • Lays out and fabricates metal structural parts such as plates, bulkheads, and frames.
  • Marks curves, lines, holes, dimensions, and welding symbols onto workpieces, using scribes, soapstones, punches, and hand drills.
  • Computes layout dimensions, and determines and marks reference points on metal stock or workpieces for further processing, such as welding and assembly.
  • Locates center lines and verifies template positions, using measuring instruments such as gauge blocks, height gauges, and dial indicators.
  • Lifts and positions workpieces in relation to surface plates, manually or with hoists, and using parallel blocks and angle plates.
  • Plans locations and sequences of cutting, drilling, bending, rolling, punching, and welding operations, using compasses, protractors, dividers, and rules.
  • Inspects machined parts to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Designs and prepares templates of wood, paper, or metal.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Development Mechanic --
  • Fabricator --
  • Fitter --
  • Layout Inspector --
  • Layout Man --
  • Layout Mechanic --
  • Layout Technician --
  • Quality Technician --
  • Ship Fitter --