Sheet Metal Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- 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.
- Training Required
- 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.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 9% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- 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.
- Median pay: How much do Sheet Metal Workers make?
- $46,940 Annual Salary
- $22.57 per hour
Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems.
What do Sheet Metal Workers do?
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:
Careers for Sheet Metal Workers
- Air conditioning sheet metal installers
- Fabrication sheet metal workers
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) sheet metal installers
- Installation sheet metal workers
- Maintenance sheet metal workers
- Precision sheet metal workers
- Sheet metal duct installers
- Sheet metal fabricators
- Sheet metal formers
- Sheet metal installers
- Sheet metal layout mechanics
- Sheet metal layout workers
- Testing and balancing sheet metal specialists
- Ventilation technicians