Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal workers are an important factor to today's construction installation process!
Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems. Duties Sheet metal workers typically do the following:
- Select types of sheet metal according to plans
- Measure and mark dimensions and reference lines on metal sheets
- Drill holes in metal for screws, bolts, and rivets
- Install metal sheets with supportive frameworks
- Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites
- Maneuver and anchor large sheet metal parts
- Fasten seams or joints by welding, bolting, riveting, or soldering
Sheet metal is thin steel, aluminum, or other alloyed metal that is used in both manufacturing and construction. Sheet metal is commonly used to make ducts for heating and air conditioning systems, but it is also used to make products such as rain gutters, outdoor signs, and siding. In addition to installing sheet metal, some workers install nonmetallic materials such as fiberglass and plastic board. The following are examples of types of sheet metal workers:
Fabrication sheet metal workers, sometimes called precision sheet metal workers, make precision sheet metal parts for a variety of industries, from power generation to medical device manufacturing. Most work in shops and factories, operating tools and equipment. In large-scale manufacturing, the work may be highly automated and repetitive. Many fabrication shops have automated machinery, such as computer-controlled saws, lasers, shears, and presses, which measure, cut, bend, and fasten pieces of sheet metal. Workers often use computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) systems to make products. Some of these workers may be responsible for limited programming of the computers controlling their equipment. Workers who primarily program computerized equipment are called metal and plastic machine workers.
Installation sheet metal workers install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts. They also install other sheet metal products, such as metal roofs, siding, and gutters. They typically work on new construction and on renovation projects. Information about workers who install or repair roofing systems can be found in the profile on roofers.
Maintenance sheet metal workers repair and clean ventilation systems so the systems use less energy. Workers remove dust and moisture and fix leaks or breaks in the sheet metal that makes up the ductwork.
Testing and balancing sheet metal specialists ensure that HVAC systems heat and cool rooms properly by adjusting sheet metal ducts to achieve proper airflow. Information on workers who install or repair HVAC systems can be found in the profile on heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers.
Sheet Metal Workers are becoming demanded in the Gulf Region with a 23 percent Growth Rate and over 440 jobs opening a year!
Many Metal Sheet Worker jobs in the Gulf Coast Region are at companies that are related to Building Equipment Contractors.
How do you become a Sheet and metal worker?
Sheet metal workers learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training, or at a technical school. Sheet metal workers who work in construction typically learn their trade through an apprenticeship. Those who work in manufacturing often learn on the job or at a technical school.
Most sheet metal workers have a high school diploma or equivalent. Those interested in becoming a sheet metal worker should take high school classes in algebra, geometry, and general vocational education courses including blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, and welding. Many technical schools have programs that teach welding and metalworking. These programs help provide the basic welding and sheet metal fabrication knowledge that many workers need to perform their job. Some manufacturers have partnerships with local technical schools to develop training programs specific to their factories.
Most construction sheet metal workers learn their trade through 4- or 5-year apprenticeships, which include both paid on-the-job training and related classroom technical instruction. Apprentices learn construction basics such as blueprint reading, math, building code requirements, and safety and first aid practices. Welding may be included as part of the training.
Although most construction workers enter apprenticeships directly after finishing high school, some start out as helpers before entering apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship programs are offered by unions and businesses. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are being 18 years old and having a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some apprenticeship programs give veterans preference.
After completing an apprenticeship program, sheet metal workers are considered to be journey workers who are qualified to perform tasks on their own.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not required, sheet metal workers can earn certifications for several of the tasks that they perform. For example, some sheet metal workers can become certified in welding from the American Welding Society. In addition, the International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry offers certification in building information modeling (BIM), welding, testing and balancing, and other related activities. The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, offers a certification in precision sheet metal work.
With Experience Sheet Metal Workers are expected to make above $55,000 a year!
Gulf Coast Region Sheet Metal worker Programs
Community Colleges That May Offer Training
(Depending on Demand)
Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region
- ABB Vetco Gray Inc
- Ameri-Forge Corp
- Baker Oil Tools
- Dril-Quip Inc
- FMC Energy Systems
- Goodman Manufacturing
- National Oilwell
- NCI Building Systems
- Oceaneering International
- Wyman-Gordon Forging
If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.|