Fabrication sheet metal workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
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.
- 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
Careers for Sheet Metal Workers
- Air conditioning sheet metal installers
- 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