A metalsmith designs and builds equipment, builds and maintains structures and performs shipbuilding work and other things based on metalworking. Metalsmithing is a certified trade.

Metalsmithing is divided into three fields of specialization:

• a steel shipbuilder works on the construction and maintenance of steel ships
• a steel civil engineer works on the construction and maintenance of steel frame buildings, masts, bridges and machine parts
• a welder works mainly in metal welding

As a metalsmith, you could work in a workshop, in a machine shop, a blacksmith shop or shipyard, or in a manufacturing and construction company.

Main tasks
  • construction from metals and alloys according to working drawings and project descriptions
  • participating in the construction of ships, bridges or other large structures
  • construction of metal parts used at sea or on land
  • construction, installation and maintenance of metal and steel structures
  • cutting metals by laser, plasma, water or flame cutting
  • sandblasting, treating with hydrochloric acid or oil coating for surface treatment
Competence requirements

A metalsmith must have a solid knowledge of the types of metals, machines and tools that are used. Construction is done with steel, aluminium and other metals, using hand tools and metal forging machines, controlled either manually or by computer. Examples of machines are metal cutting and bending machines, welding machines as well as metal grinding machines such as shears, drilling machines, saws, rollers, presses and grinding wheels. Various measuring devices are also used, such as distance, height and inclination measurements, when locating and installing machines and structures.

As a metalsmith, it is important to have a command of professional drawing in the industry, know the production process and properties of common construction metals and to be able to choose materials according to the circumstances at hand. Tinsmiths must comply with strict safety requirements at work.


Metalsmithing is taught at BorgarholtsskóliTækniskólinn and Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri, in addition to which basic studies in metal work can be found elsewhere. The average period of study is four years including basic studies: three years in school and 52 weeks of internship.

Validation of prior learning has taken place and/or may be available.

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