Sheet metal workers continue to enjoy secure employment in the US job market. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average sheet metal worker salary in 2018 was $48,460. Available jobs for sheet metal workers will grow by 9 percent between 2016 and 2026.
You can find out more about what do sheet metal workers do in this article. You’ll also find out about the education and training requirements. Read further and you might land your next dream job.
What Do Sheet Metal Workers Do?
Sheet metal workers can find work on almost any project. Their skills are valuable on any industrial, residential or commercial building project. Like this company, sheet metal workers work from the design to installation phases.
You’ll find sheet metal on almost any architectural fixture. From handrails to rain gutters, sheet metal is a flexible material that can hold up to the elements. Sheet metal is also used to make other architectural features such as siding and outdoor signs.
Sheet metal workers work in both the shop as well as at the construction site to cut and shape sheets of metal. They’ll use specialized fastening equipment like solder, bolts, and screws. A sheet metal worker should also know how to use tools like crimping machines to shape metal forms.
Sheet metal workers also service heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These mechanical systems regulate our interior air quality and energy management. Sheet metal workers know how to test and adjust these mechanical systems. for either commercial or residential uses.
How to Become a Sheet Metal Worker
Sheet metal workers learn their trade at a technical school and through on-the-job training. Here’s a breakdown on both:
Many technical schools teach students metalworking and welding skills. These are skills help workers perform basic sheet metal fabrication tasks.
Sometimes a manufacturer will create a partnership with a local technical school. These two entities will develop a training program that’s specific to their factory.
Sheet metal apprenticeships usually last between four and five years. These apprenticeships can include a combination of classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training. Students learn construction fundamentals like building code requirements and construction site safety.
Businesses or unions will offer apprenticeship programs. Both organizations want apprentices to be at least eighteen years old. Apprenticeship candidates should also have a high school diploma.
Once an apprenticeship is over, sheet metal workers achieve journey-level worker status. Some sheet metal workers will get jobs with manufacturers. Others may become independent contractors.
If you’re ready to launch this new career field, you can start today. Research your local trade school to find out what their curriculum entails.
Do you have a large manufacturer in your town? If so, check to see if they have training partnerships with any local vocational schools.
Identify your specialty, like in either sheet metal architectural features or HVAC systems. This decision will drive where your apprenticeship takes place. When your apprenticeship is over, you can decide to work for a company or get your own contractor’s license.
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