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Career profile Sheet Metal Worker

Also known as Field Installer; HVAC Sheet Metal Installer (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Sheet Metal Installer); Journeyman Sheet Metal Worker; Sheet Metal Fabricator; Sheet Metal Installer; Sheet Metal Layout Mechanic; Sheet Metal Mechanic; Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet Metal Worker

Also known as Field Installer; HVAC Sheet Metal Installer (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Sheet Metal Installer); Journeyman Sheet Metal Worker; Sheet Metal Fabricator; Sheet Metal Installer; Sheet Metal Layout Mechanic; Sheet Metal Mechanic; Sheet Metal Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$30,460 - $87,470 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Building and Construction
Core tasks
  • Convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction or assembly of sheet metal products.
  • Determine project requirements, such as scope, assembly sequences, or required methods or materials, using blueprints, drawings, or written or verbal instructions.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, or rulers.
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What does a Sheet Metal Worker do?

Sheet Metal Workers fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings.

In addition, Sheet Metal Workers

  • 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; or inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces,
  • includes sheet metal duct installers who install prefabricated sheet metal ducts used for heating, air conditioning, or other purposes.

What kind of tasks does a Sheet Metal Worker perform regularly?

Sheet Metal Workers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction or assembly of sheet metal products.
  • Determine project requirements, such as scope, assembly sequences, or required methods or materials, using blueprints, drawings, or written or verbal instructions.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, or rulers.
  • Fasten seams or joints together with welds, bolts, cement, rivets, solder, caulks, metal drive clips, or bonds to assemble components into products or to repair sheet metal items.
  • Trim, file, grind, deburr, buff, or smooth surfaces, seams, or joints of assembled parts, using hand tools or portable power tools.
  • Select gauges or types of sheet metal or nonmetallic material, according to product specifications.
  • Fabricate ducts for high efficiency heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to maximize efficiency of systems.
  • Finish parts, using hacksaws or hand, rotary, or squaring shears.
  • Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, or drills.
  • Shape metal material over anvils, blocks, or other forms, using hand tools.
  • Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation.
  • Install assemblies, such as flashing, pipes, tubes, heating and air conditioning ducts, furnace casings, rain gutters, or downspouts in supportive frameworks.
  • Hire, train, or supervise new employees or apprentices.
  • Maintain equipment, making repairs or modifications when necessary.

The above responsibilities are specific to Sheet Metal Workers. More generally, Sheet Metal Workers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Sheet Metal Worker salary?

The median salary for a Sheet Metal Worker is $51,370, and the average salary is $55,320. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Sheet Metal Worker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Sheet Metal Workers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Sheet Metal Workers earn less than $30,460 per year, 25% earn less than $37,980, 75% earn less than $67,380, and 90% earn less than $87,470.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Sheet Metal Workers is expected to change by 3.5%, and there should be roughly 13,100 open positions for Sheet Metal Workers every year.

Median annual salary
$51,370
Typical salary range
$30,460 - $87,470
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
3.5%

What personality traits are common among Sheet Metal Workers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Sheet Metal Worker are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Sheet Metal Workers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Sheet Metal Worker tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Sheet Metal Workers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Sheet Metal Workers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Sheet Metal Workers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Sheet Metal Workers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Sheet Metal Workers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Sheet Metal Workers need?

Working as a Sheet Metal Worker usually requires a high school diploma.

Sheet Metal Workers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Sheet Metal Workers

  • 13.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.4% completed some college coursework
  • 9.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or building and construction knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Sheet Metal Workers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Important Abilities needed by Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Sheet Metal Workers need abilities such as near vision, visualization, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Sheet Metal Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Critical Skills needed by Sheet Metal Workers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Sheet Metal Workers frequently use skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Sheet Metal Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Mathematics
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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