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Structural Steel Detailer Job Description and Salary

Last Updated on March 13, 2023 by Admin

The creation of precise drawings for use by steel fabricators and steel erectors in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures is known as structural steel detailing. Steel detailers provide precise blueprints, drawings, and other paperwork to produce and install steel columns, beams, braces, trusses, rafters, and other miscellaneous steel like staircases and railings. This post explains the structural steel detailer job description and salary details.

A structural steel detailer job description involves the creation of detailed plans and drawings for a variety of construction projects, including buildings, bridges, and other structures. Creating shop drawings for a steel fabricator is known as steel detailing. A company that supplies the steel framework for a construction project is known as a steel fabricator. A steel detailer is responsible for producing the blueprints that the fabricator will use to cut and join all the required parts.

What is Structural Steel Detailing?

A specialized area of structural drafting is steel detailing. A steel detailing specialist evaluates architectural and structural engineering drawings to fully understand the overall design purpose of a building or structure.

The Steel Detailing specialist then creates another set of precise, unambiguous, and clear drawings to fabricate steelwork using this translated information. To make the installation and erection of the steel framework easier, a steel detailer generates the layout instructions in general.

The architect creates the structure’s aesthetic, and the engineer determines the steel sizes and placements necessary to make the building safe and sturdy.

This general explains the interaction between the fabricator and the detailer. The steel detailer employs both sets of plans to generate detailed drawings with precise dimensions and lengths for each element that the welder and installer will use.

The structural steel detailer creates shop and erection drawings used to produce and erect all of the steel members needed to construct the project.

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In the past, these drawings were made manually using pencils, paper, drafting instruments like a parallel bar or drafting machine, triangles, templates for circles and other useful shapes, and mathematical tables like logarithm tables and other helpful calculators aids. In due course, portable calculators were integrated into the established procedure.

Computer-aided drafting has mostly replaced manual drafting (CAD). Utilizing software created expressly for the purpose, a Steel Detailing specialist employs computer-aided methods to make drawings on a computer. The designs are only printed out on paper once they are complete.

The system must be manually updated with all the drawing, numbering, and quantity information. Professionals who specialize in steel detailing are now using 3-D modeling programs.

Before creating detailed shop drawings from the model, the detailer constructs the project in three dimensions. Software like Tekla has a Autoconnection feature that can automatically build connections and details without starting over.

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What does a structural steel detailer do?

A qualified individual who produces technical drawings for steel fabricators and erectors is known as a steel detailer. A structural steel detailer job description typically involves creating detailed drawings and designs for civil engineering projects such as bridges, buildings, and other structures.

The detailer creates detailed plans, blueprints, and other materials to manufacture and install steel structures such as columns, beams, supports, stairs, or railings for buildings, industrial projects, and other constructions.

To qualify for a structural steel detailer job description, candidates typically need a degree or diploma in civil engineering, along with excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

The architect creates the structure’s exterior while the engineer calculates the necessary steel sizes and locations to ensure the structure’s safety and strength.

The steel detailer uses these blueprints to provide precise schematics for every component the fabricator and installer might need.

Buildings, bridges, and other structures requiring structural steel must be shown in depth in the designs that structural steel detailers create. Typically, structural steel detailers collaborate with other engineers and architects on projects. They might also deal directly with builders or other parties engaged in the construction process.

Types of drawings prepared by structural steel detailers

Erection drawings and shop drawings are the two main types of drawings that experts in steel detailing create

Erection drawings

On the construction site, these drawings instruct the steel erector on where and how to erect the manufactured steel members.

These drawings frequently include specifics with precise information and needs, including all work that must be done on-site and dimensioned blueprints to locate the steel sections (such as bolting, welding, or installing masonry anchors).

The erection drawings contain very little specific information regarding the fabrication of any individual steel member because they are meant to be used in the field; members should already be finished by the time the erection drawings are used.

Shop drawings

These drawings, which are also known as detail drawings, are utilized by the steel fabricator to build these components and are used to outline the precise specifications for producing each member (or assembly) of a structure.

Complete shop drawings display material specifications, member sizes, all necessary dimensions, welding, bolting, surface preparation, painting, and other details to characterize each completed member.

Since the fabrication shop is the intended user of the shop drawings, the information regarding the erection and installation of the steel members they show belongs in the erection drawings.

Roles and responsibilities of Structural Steel Detailer

By assessing architectural blueprints before installation, checking for errors in building plans before construction begins, and providing clients with project counseling, a steel detailer can help with customer service.

Without compromising crucial factors like safety or quality, a trained detailer may make the most of the time and resources at their disposal. Any industry that needs building documentation or designs can employ steel detailers.

A key aspect of the structural steel detailer job description is the ability to work well under pressure, as this role often involves tight deadlines and multiple projects simultaneously.

For instance, a steel detailer may provide blueprints with requirements in some circumstances while designing models of objects in other circumstances.

The duties of structural steel detailers are extensive and may include the following:

  • I use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create construction plans and structural drawings.
    Checking blueprints and drawings for accuracy and completeness
  • Making calculations to determine how many supplies are required for work.
  • Ensure all safety precautions are followed throughout construction to prevent accidents or property damage.
  • Speaking with builders, designers, engineers, or other construction crew members to go through the project’s specifics.
  • Scheduling material deliveries and coordinating construction tasks with other team members
  • Keeping track of project expenses, labor hours, and other information
  • Using welding equipment to install steel members such as joists, beams, columns, and girders
  • Design plans and building codes are used to determine the structural steel required for a project.

Structural steel detailers must stay informed of these advancements to keep their knowledge current and maintain a competitive edge at work.

BIM’s Application in the Construction Sector

Building information modeling (BIM) is becoming increasingly common in the building sector. Because it enables everyone on the team to work on the same data set, this technology allows for a more collaborative and effective design process.

The structural steel detailer job description plays a vital role in the construction industry by ensuring that structures are designed and built safely, efficiently, and to code.

Structural steel detailers might profit from this trend by getting to know BIM software. As a result, they can collaborate with the team’s other members more successfully.

By informing management of the advantages of BIM, structural steel detailers can also support the use of the technology within their organization.

Increased cooperation between the design and construction teams

The trend of more collaboration between design and construction teams is significantly impacting the structural steel detailing industry. Structural steel detailers are expected to contribute to the overall building design and produce detailed drawings of steel structures.

As structural engineers participate more in the design process, this tendency will probably continue. Therefore, to make sure that their plans are built properly, structural steel detailers will need to be able to communicate successfully with both designers and contractors.

A Focus on Sustainability More Often

In recent years, many businesses have strongly emphasized sustainability as they have grown to understand its importance for long-term success. By creating energy- and environmentally-efficient buildings, structural steel detailers may significantly contribute to enterprises achieving their sustainability goals.

Structural steel detailers can contribute to the development of buildings that are both functional and environmentally responsible by keeping up with current sustainability trends.

Skills required to become Structural Steel Detailer

The following abilities are necessary for structural steel detailers to succeed:

Communication: To fully comprehend the intent behind their designs and the specifications of their projects, structural steel detailers consult with engineers, architects, and other construction experts. They also communicate with suppliers to understand the needs of their projects and the requirements of the materials they order. Structural steel detailers use written and oral communication to share their designs to clients and colleagues.

Organization: Structural steel detailers employ their organizational abilities to manage their teams and their workload. These abilities help them ensure that all of their work is finished on time and that the documents they present are accurate and thorough. Organizational skills are another tool structural steel detailers use to manage their files and records. To do this, they must retain track of the original design files and ensure they have the data needed to reproduce the design.

Structural steel detailers must pay attention to detail to provide accurate and exact work. To guarantee that they comprehend the intended design and can faithfully portray it in their work, they must be able to read and interpret blueprints and other design documentation. Attention to detail is another way structural steel detailers ensure they adhere to all safety rules and professional norms.

Problem-solving: Structural steel detailers use their problem-solving abilities to spot possible design problems and suggest fixes. For instance, they might spot a design that calls for more steel than the project’s budget allows. Following it, they can recommend utilizing an alternative design or altering it to use less steel.

Software for computer-aided design (CAD): Computer-aided design software is used by structural steel detailers to build and alter structural steel designs. Through this program, users can develop and alter designs digitally, speeding up the revision process and helping them visualize the design.

Essential qualifications required to become a Structural steel detailer

The structural steel detailer job description entails creating detailed plans and designs for various construction projects. Here are some necessary preferences. Skills & Requirements for Steel Detailers:

Architectural and structural building plans should be read and understood.

  • Differentiate between standard trade construction drawings.
  1. Architectural
  2. Structural
  3. HVAC
  4. Plumbing
  5. Electrical
  • Recognize Basic Section/Plan Nomenclature
  • Coordinate information gathering across numerous trade drawings
  • Interpret and evaluate pertinent structural and other steel data in various sections and plans.
  • Track down and evaluate trade drawing conflicts.
  • Utilize and comprehend drawing scale

Produce a set of shop drawings for structural steel components that illustrate the positions of the necessary welds, holes, and dimensions, such as:

  • Imbeds: Anchor Bolts, Bearing Plates, and Angles, Setting Plates
  • Lintels
  • Columns
  • Beams
  • Frames
  • Bracing
  • Miscellaneous support steel

Produce a set of Shop Drawings for Miscellaneous steel items showing required dimensions, welds, holes, and locations, including:

  • Stairs
  • Railing
  • Frames
  • Specialized Metal Fabrications
  • Erection sheets

Use and Understand AutoCAD

  • Understand Basic AutoCAD 2000 concepts
  • Understand basic setup and AutoCAD Drawing creation, including line, point, and scale.
  • Understand AutoCAD 3D environment & 3D tools
  • Understand electronic to printed media transfer

Use and Understand ProSteel 3D

  • Set up and Model interconnecting structure
  • Create connections between members
  • Organize and prepare the model for detailing
  • Select, understand, and manipulate detail styles for various part types
  • Insert details on sheets
  • Bill and finalize the sheet
  • Generate support information, including
  1. gather sheet
  2. bolt list
  3. materials list

Use and Understand Lisp Routines to Aid in Drawing Production

  • Generate support information: Gather, Bolt List, Materials List

Organize and Plan Job Sizes and Standards According to Client and Design Requirements

  • Find, read, and interpret Job specs
  • Coordinate job specs with fabricator requirements
  • Assess possible conflicts
  • Identify possible fabricator savings
  • Communicate and coordinate job standards with various trades

Complete Job Drawings according to schedule requirements

  • Understand Basic Job Sequencing

Assess and adjust schedules according to Job progress

  • Communicate Job Progress as pertains to the overall schedule

Understand Weld Types and Sizes and apply their use to various steel applications

  • Assess and interpret weld size and type design requirements for the entire job
  • Assess, clarify and implement weld changes for fabrication and cost considerations

Calculate connection element capacity (Bolts, Weld thickness) per design load elements

  • Understand connections types, including:
  1. shear plates
  2. angles
  3. bearing
  4. moment
  5. bracing
  • Understand UL and end reaction correlation and AISC design requirements
  • Understand basic unit types: kip, pound, etc.

Calculate various geometric elements involved in construction to include rise, run & radius

  • Use basic Algebra/Geometry concepts
  • Understand ft./inch system to Metric
  • Use Calculator to achieve geometric sizes

Understand Basic Construction techniques

  • Understand Actual vs. Nominal dimension properties ~ Masonry, etc.
  • Understand Job Site Requirements for stairs, space, etc.
  • Understand Basic Construction Sequence: Concrete, Foundation, Masonry walls, Support Steel, Roof, Finish, Misc. Steel

Understand basic steel erection issues

  • Tolerances & clearances
  • Sequences
  • Electability
  • Safety Issues
  • Clearance for other trades
  • Field Welding Requirements

Understand basic steel erection issues

  • beams
  • columns
  • lintels
  • railing
  • plates
  • angles
  • stairs
  • ladders
  • other miscellaneous fabrications

Communicate and assess job conflicts and questions with other construction trades, including fabricators, contractors, architects, and engineers.

  • Write RFIs
  • Communicate via telephone, fax, and documents.
  • Follow communication protocol

Document communication of job information, including job changes, clarifications, and requirements

  • Complete project logs to document all communication
  • Use Change Order, Change Estimate forms
  • Communicate Schedule Alterations
  • Approval Process Communications: Interpret, Incorporate & Communicate Markups

Understand the Fabrication Process

  • Basic Cutting, Welding & Bolting in shop
  • Handling & Shipping Limitations
  • Material Ordering Process
  • Field Bolt Requirements
  • Paint & Galvanizing Requirements (Size, Type, Cleaning etc.)
  • Fabrication Shop Standards
  • Fabrication & Shipping Sequencing

Structural Steel detailer Sample Resume Format

[Full Name]
[Phone Number]
[Email Address]
To obtain a position as a Structural Steel Detailer where I can utilize my skills and experience to contribute to the success of the company.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, [University Name], [Graduation Year]
Associate of Science in Drafting and Design Technology, [Community College Name], [Graduation Year]
Proficient in AutoCAD, Revit, and other computer-aided design software
Strong knowledge of structural design and building codes
Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
Ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines
Strong communication and collaboration skills
Structural Steel Detailer, [Company Name], [Employment Dates]
Created detailed plans and drawings for structural steel projects, including buildings, bridges, and other structures
Calculated dimensions, weight, and material requirements for projects
Collaborated with architects, engineers, and other professionals to ensure project specifications were met
Ensured designs complied with safety and building codes
Utilized AutoCAD and other software programs to create 2D and 3D drawings
CAD Technician, [Company Name], [Employment Dates]
Created detailed plans and technical drawings for construction projects, including structural, architectural, and MEP plans
Utilized AutoCAD and other software programs to create 2D and 3D drawings
Collaborated with architects, engineers, and other professionals to ensure project specifications were met
Ensured designs complied with safety and building codes
Reviewed and updated existing plans and drawings
Certified Steel Detailer, [Certification Body], [Year]
AutoCAD Certified Professional, [Certification Body], [Year]
Available upon request.

Salary details of Structural Steel Detailer

Here are the structural steel detailer salary trends in March 2023 in different countries, including India:

  • United States: The average salary for a structural steel detailer in the US is expected to be between $45,000 and $75,000 per year.
  • United Kingdom: The UK’s average salary for a structural steel detailer is expected to be between £25,000 to £45,000 per year.
  • Australia: The average salary for a structural steel detailer in Australia is expected to be between AU$ 60,000 to AU$90,000 per year.
  • Canada: The average salary for a structural steel detailer in Canada is expected to be between C$50,000 to C$80,000 annually.
  • India: The average salary for a structural steel detailer in India is expected to be between INR 300,000 to INR 500,000 per year.

It’s important to note that these salary trends are subject to change based on location, experience, and industry demand. However, these trends can provide a general idea of what to expect as a structural steel detailer in different countries.

Final Thought

In the steel building sector, the steel detailer plays a crucial role. They are in charge of correctly interpreting the design concept and creating a complete set of detailed documentation that will allow the fabricator to manufacture and the erector to erect the finished structure. Over the following ten years, a faster-than-average increase in structural steel detailers’ employment is anticipated. Structural steel detailers will be required to design and record the intricate structures employed in constructions such as skyscrapers, bridges, and other infrastructure. The demand for structural steel detailers will also rise due to the need to upgrade existing structures to make them more sturdy and secure.


What are the duties of a structural detailer?

The duties of a structural detailer involve creating detailed plans and drawings for construction projects, and using specialized software and tools to ensure accuracy and compliance with safety and building codes.

What does a structural steel detailer do?

A structural steel detailer creates detailed plans and designs for construction projects, using specialized software and tools to ensure accuracy and compliance with safety and building codes.

What is the job of a CAD detailer?

The job of a CAD detailer involves using computer-aided design software to create detailed plans and technical drawings for construction projects, including buildings, bridges, and other structures.

What is detailing in civil engineering?

Detailing in civil engineering refers to the process of creating detailed plans and drawings for construction projects, including structural, architectural, and MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) plans, using specialized software and tools to ensure accuracy and compliance with safety and building codes.

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