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What You Need To Know Before Applying For A Structural Steel Detailer Job

Last Updated on June 25, 2022 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. For the production and installation of steel columns, beams, braces, trusses, girders, and other miscellaneous steel like staircases and railings, steel detailers provide precise blueprints, drawings, and other paperwork.

The creation of 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’s responsibility is to produce 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. To fully understand the overall design purpose of a building or structure, a steel detailing specialist evaluates architectural and structural engineering drawings. The Steel Detailing specialist then creates a whole other set of precise, unambiguous, and clear drawings for the purpose of fabricating 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 sizes and placements of the steel that are necessary to make the building safe and sturdy. This is a very general explanation of the interaction between the fabricator and the detailer. To generate detailed drawings with precise dimensions and lengths for each individual element that the welder and installer will actually use, the steel detailer employs both sets of plans.

The structural steel detailer creates shop and erection drawings that are used to produce and erect all of the steel members needed to construct the project. 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. Even so, the system needs to 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 actually constructs the project in three dimensions. Software like Tekla has a feature called Autoconnection that may be used to automatically build connections and details without having to start over.




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. For the manufacture and installation of steel structures such as columns, beams, supports, stairs, or railings for buildings, industrial projects, and other constructions, the detailer creates detailed plans, blueprints, and other materials.

The architect creates the exterior of the structure while the engineer calculates the necessary steel sizes and locations to assure the structure’s safety and strength. These sets of blueprints are used by the steel detailer to provide precise schematics for every component that the fabricator and installer might need.

Buildings, bridges, and other structures that will require 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 are utilized to 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, as well as 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 individual member (or assembly) of a structure. Complete shop drawings display material specifications, member sizes, all necessary dimensions, welding, bolting, surface preparation, painting, and any other details necessary 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. 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:

  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create drawings of construction plans and structures.
    Checking blueprints and drawings for accuracy and completeness
  • Making calculations to determine how many supplies are required for work.
  • Make sure that all safety precautions are followed throughout construction to prevent accidents or property damage
  • Speaking with builders, designers, engineers, or other members of the construction crew to go through the specifics of the project.
  • 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
  • Using design plans and building codes to determine the kind of structural steel required for a project.




Trends in Structural Steel Detailing

To keep their knowledge current and maintain a competitive edge at work, structural steel detailers must stay informed of these advancements

BIM’s Application in the Construction Sector

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

by getting to know BIM software, structural steel detailers might profit from this trend. As a result, they will be able to 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 industry of structural steel detailing is being significantly impacted by the trend of more collaboration between design and construction teams. Currently, structural steel detailers are expected to contribute to the overall building design in addition to producing detailed drawings of steel structures.

As structural engineers participate more in the design process, this tendency is probably going to continue. Therefore, in order 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 placed a strong emphasis on sustainability as they have grown to understand its importance for long-term success. By creating buildings that are both energy- and environmentally efficient, 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: In order 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. To understand the needs of their projects and the requirements of the materials they order, they also communicate with suppliers. To communicate their designs to clients and colleagues, structural steel detailers use both written and oral communication.

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




Excellent attention to detail is a must for structural steel detailers in order 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 make sure they adhere to all safety rules and professional norms.

Problem-solving: Structural steel detailers use their problem-solving abilities to spot possible problems with designs 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 the design 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 the use of this program, users are able to

develop and alter designs digitally, which can speed up the revision process and help them visualize the design.




Essential qualifications required to become a Structural steel detailer

This is a necessary preference. 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 data pertaining to structural and other steel 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 fabricator, contractor, architect, and engineer.

  • 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

Salary details of Structural Steel Detailer

The average yearly income for a structural steel detailer in India is 3.6 lakhs, with salaries ranging from 1.4 lakhs to 6.2 lakhs.

The average compensation for structural steel detailers in the US is $78,187, with wages ranging from $75,200 to $79,248.

Over the following ten years, a faster-than-average increase in structural steel detailers’ employment is anticipated.

To design and record the intricate structures employed in constructions such as skyscrapers, bridges, and other infrastructure, structural steel detailers will be required. The demand for structural steel detailers will also rise as a result of the necessity to upgrade existing structures to make them more sturdy and secure.

Final Thought

In the steel building sector, the steel detailer plays a crucial role. He or she is 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.




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