29 Tips to Become Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet Metal Worker: Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products.

That are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used for heating and air conditioning.

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1. Get the Business Overview

Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install, repair, and maintain ducts.

Used for ventilating, air-conditioning, and heating systems.

They also work with other articles of sheet metal.

Including roofing, siding, gutters, downspouts, partitions, chutes.

And stainless steel kitchen and beverage equipment for restaurants.

Not included in this group are employees in factories.

Where sheet metal items are mass-produced on assembly lines.

There are approximately 141,000 sheet metal workers in the United States.

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Sheet Metal Worker

2. Definition and Nature of the Work

Sheet metal workers make, install, and repair heating and air-conditioning ducts.

And many other building parts made of sheet metal.

They also make and install roofing.

Siding, stainless steel kitchen equipment, gutters, and light metal partitions.

These workers are different from sheet metal workers on a production line.

Who are semiskilled factory workers.

3. Sheet Metal Worker

A duct is a long, hollow pipe or tube through which air or other substances pass.

When installing heating and air-conditioning ducts.

Sheet metal workers first decide on the size and type of sheet metal to be used.

They then use construction plans to figure out the measurements and angles for the ducts.

4. Sheet Metal Worker

They mark patterns for the shapes and sizes of the ducts on the sheet metal.

And cut out the ducts by hand or with power shears.

They bend the metal to form the shape they need.

And drill or punch holes in it so they will be able to bolt the pieces together.

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5. Sheet Metal Worker

Workers put the ducts together by bolting, welding, soldering.

Or riveting Sheet metal workers cut sheet metal by hand or with power shears.

To form the shapes and sizes needed.

To make heating and air-conditioning ducts and other building parts. 

The metal edges, and they smooth the rough edges with a file or grindstone.

6. Sheet Metal Worker

They nail, screw, bolt, or weld the ducts into place.

And use hangers and braces for support.

Although ready-made ducts are often used.

They need to be altered to fit certain structures.

7. Sheet Metal Worker

Some workers specialize in shop work.

Which is the layout and manufacture of sheet metal parts.

Others install the ducts at the construction site.

Skilled sheet metal workers know how to do a variety of tasks.

8. Sheet Metal Worker

They also work on jobs not directly related to the construction of buildings.

Some work in railroad, aircraft, and shipbuilding factories.

Others work for shops that make kitchen equipment.

Electrical equipment, and machinery.

Some work with Fiberglass, plastics, and other nonmetallic materials.

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9. Education and Training Requirements

An apprenticeship, which lasts four to five years.

Depending on the worker’ skill, is the best way to learn the trade.

A high school diploma or its equivalent is required.

Some workers learn their trade by working as helpers for experienced sheet metal workers.

10. Sheet Metal Worker

To enter an apprenticeship program.

Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age.

And in good physical condition.

This program includes on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

On the job, apprentices learn to use tools and materials.

11. Sheet Metal Worker

In the classroom, apprentices are taught blueprint reading, drafting.

And mathematics relating to layout work.

Apprentices also learn the relationship of sheet metal work to the other building trades.

On-the-job training usually takes longer than an apprenticeship.

The trainee starts as a helper and develops the skill and experience.

Needed for more difficult work.

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12. Sheet Metal Worker

Sometimes a trainee combines this work experience with courses.

At a vocational or technical school or a community college.

High school classes in English, algebra, geometry.

Mechanical drawing, and shop are recommended.

13. Basic Job Description:

Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment.

Such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings.

Work may involve any of the following:.

Setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut,

Bend, and straighten sheet metal;

Shaping metal over anvils, blocks,

Or forms using hammer operating soldering,

And welding equipment to join sheet metal parts inspecting,

Assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces.

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14. Getting the Job

The best way to enter the sheet metal trade is to contact a local union.

Or contractor and apply for the apprenticeship program.

State employment agencies have information about apprenticeship opportunities.

Local contractors will have information about on-the-job training.

15. Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Sheet metal workers are already at the top of their trade.

However, experienced workers can become specialists in design or layout work.

Supervisors or job superintendents, and estimators.

Estimators calculate the potential total cost of materials and labor.

Some sheet metal workers open their own contracting businesses.

16. Sheet Metal Worker

The number of sheet metal workers is expected to increase.

As fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014.

Employment opportunities for sheet metal workers in the construction industry.

Depend on the state of the general economy.

However, the growing demand for energy-efficient central air-conditioning.

And heating should create many jobs for sheet metal workers.

Demand for decorative sheet metal products.

And increased architectural restoration will also spur growth.

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17. Working Conditions

Although some jobs are indoors.

Sheet metal workers are often subject to bad weather and noisy construction sites.

The work on ladders can be dangerous.

And the sharp edges of sheet metal can cause injuries.

Sheet metal workers must be able to stand for long periods.

And crawl about in cramped spaces in awkward, stooped positions.

Sheet metal workers generally work forty hours per week.

With higher wages paid for overtime hours.

Many sheet metal workers belong to labor unions.

18. Job Summary

Responsible for creating and installing building parts made of sheet metal.

Installs and repairs heating and air conditioning ducts.

Roofing, stainless steel appliances, siding, and metal partitions.

19. Primary responsibilities

  • Select appropriate type of sheet metal, such galvanized iron, copper, steel, aluminum
  • Measure appropriate size of sheet metal.
  • Cut sheet metal by hand or using power shears.
  • Cut into shapes to be used in heating and air conditioning ducts.

    Sheet Metal Worker

  • Interpret blueprints to decide where ducts will go.
  • Bend ducts to form shapes.
  • Drill holes into ducts to bolt together.
  • Weld, solder, or rivet ducts together.
  • Smooth over rough edges with file.

    Sheet Metal Worker

  • Install ready-made ducts.
  • Work with work with fiberglass, plastics, and other nonmetallic materials.
  • Operate fabricating machines such as shears.
  • Brakes, presses, forming rolls to cut bend, block and form or straighten materials.

    Sheet Metal Worker

  • Install assemblies in supportive framework.
  • Use scribers, dividers, and squares to mark dimensions on materials.
  • Operate computer aided drafting (CAD) equipment to develop scale drawings of products or systems.
  • Operate laser beam cutter to cut patterns.
  • Inspect assemblies and installation for conformance to specifications.
  • Coordinate schedules.
  • Analyze and resolve work problems.

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20. Job Duties and Tasks for: “Sheet Metal Worker”

1) Install assemblies, such as flashing, pipes, tubes, heating and air conditioning ducts, furnace casings, rain gutters, and down spouts, in supportive frameworks.

2) Select gauges and types of sheet metal or non-metallic material, according to product specifications.
3) Drill and punch holes in metal, for screws, bolts, and rivets.

4) Fasten seams and joints together with welds, bolts, cement, rivets, solder, caulks, metal drive clips, and bonds in order to assemble components into products or to repair sheet metal items.

Sheet Metal Worker

5) Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, and drills.

6) Trim, file, grind, deburr, buff, and smooth surfaces, seams, and joints of assembled parts, using hand tools and portable power tools.

7) Finish parts, using hacksaws, and hand, rotary, or squaring shears.

8) Maintain equipment, making repairs and modifications when necessary.

Sheet Metal Worker

9) Shape metal material over anvils, blocks, or other forms, using hand tools.

10) Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation.

11) Develop and lay out patterns that use materials most efficiently.

Using computerized metalworking equipment to experiment with different layouts.

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Sheet Metal Worker

12) Inspect individual parts, assemblies, and installations for conformance to specifications and building codes, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.

13) Secure metal roof panels in place, then interlock and fasten grooved panel edges.

14) Determine project requirements, including scope, assembly sequences, and required methods and materials, according to blueprints, drawings, and written or verbal instructions.

Sheet Metal Worker

15) Lay out, measure, and mark dimensions and reference lines on material.

Such as roofing panels, according to drawings or templates.

Using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, and rulers.

16) Maneuver completed units into position for installation, and anchor the units.

Sheet Metal Worker

17) Convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction and assembly of sheet metal products.

18) Fasten roof panel edges and machine-made molding to structures, nailing or welding pieces into place.

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21. Duties

Sheet metal workers typically do the following:

  • Select types of sheet metal or nonmetallic material
  • 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 large sheet metal parts to be installed, and anchor the parts
  • Fasten seams or joints by welding, bolting, riveting, or soldering

Sheet metal workers fabricate, install, and maintain thin sheet metal products.

Although sheet metal is used to make many products.

Such as rain gutters, outdoor signs, and siding.

It is most commonly used to make ducts for heating and air conditioning.

22. Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet metal workers study plans and specifications.

To determine the kind and quantity of materials they will need.

Using computer-controlled saws, lasers, shears, and presses.

They measure, cut, bend, and fasten pieces of sheet metal.

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23. Sheet Metal Worker

In shops without computerized equipment.

Sheet metal workers make the required calculations.

And use tapes and rulers to lay out the work.

Then, they cut or stamp the parts with machine tools.

24. Sheet Metal Worker

In manufacturing plants, sheet metal workers program.

And operate computerized metalworking equipment.

For example, they may fabricate sheet metal parts for aircraft or industrial equipment.

Sheet metal workers in those jobs may be responsible for programming the computer control systems of the equipment they operate.

Additionally, they may make custom pieces and operate equipment that is manually controlled.

25. Sheet Metal Worker

Before assembling pieces, sheet metal workers check each part for accurate measurements.

If necessary, they use hand rotary or squaring shears and hacksaws to finish pieces.

After inspecting the metal pieces.

Workers fasten seams and joints with welds, bolts, rivets, solder, or other connecting devices.

Then they take the parts constructed in the shop and further assemble the pieces as they install them.

26. Sheet Metal Worker

Most fabrication work is done in shops with some final assembly done on the job.

Some jobs are done completely at the jobsite.

When installing a metal roof, for example, sheet metal workers usually measure and cut roofing panels onsite.

27. Sheet Metal Worker

In addition to installing sheet metal, some workers install fiberglass and plastic board.

In some shops and factories, sheet metal workers maintain the equipment they use.

Sheet metal workers do both construction-related work.

And the mass production of sheet metal products in manufacturing.

Sheet metal workers are often separated into four specialties:

fabricationinstallationmaintenance, and testing and balancing.

29. Examples of types of sheet metal workers:

Fabrication sheet metal workers, sometimes called precision sheet metal workers, make ducts, gutters, and other metal products. Most work in shops and factories, operating tools and equipment. Although some of the fabrication techniques used in large-scale manufacturing are similar to those used in smaller shops, the work may be highly automated and repetitive. Many fabrication shops have automated machinery, and workers use computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) systems to make products.

Installation sheet metal workers install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts. They also install other sheet metal products, such as metal roofs, siding, or gutters. They typically work on new construction and on renovation projects.

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 making sure that air is transferred through sheet metal ducts efficiently. Information on workers who install or repair HVAC systems can be found in the profile on heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers.

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