Sheet Metal Workers

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Also known as:
Air Conditioning Sheet Metal Installer, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Sheet Metal Installer, Sheet Metal Duct Installer, Sheet Metal Fabricator, Sheet Metal Former, Sheet Metal Installer, Sheet Metal Layout Mechanic, Sheet Metal Layout Worker, Sheet Metal Worker, Tinsmith

ABOUT SHEET METAL WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

Sheet metal workers fabricate, install, and maintain products from large metal sheets. Roofs, siding, air ducts, gutters - even outdoor signs - are made by these highly skilled craftspersons.

Following detailed plans, they cut, mold, bend and shape the large pieces for installation at a job site. Sheet metal workers should have knowledge of drafting, reading blueprints, handling tools, and welding. The job also requires standing for long periods, bending, squatting, and lifting heavy materials.

Some workers pick up the trade as helpers, who carry metal and clear debris. However, formal apprenticeship is the best way to learn the craft. Local chapters of professional associations run these programs. To qualify, applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Unlike many other construction trades, very few sheet metal workers are self-employed. People who are willing to invest the time to master this valuable craft can become respected specialty craftspersons or even the owner of their own business.

SNAPSHOT
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; 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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Install assemblies, such as flashing, pipes, tubes, heating and air conditioning ducts, furnace casings, rain gutters, or downspouts in supportive frameworks.

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

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

Lay out, measure, and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, or rulers.

Finish parts, using hacksaws or hand, rotary, or squaring shears.

Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation.

Fabricate ducts for high efficiency heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to maximize efficiency of systems.

Maintain equipment, making repairs or modifications when necessary.

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

Select gauges or types of sheet metal or nonmetallic material, according to product specifications.

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

MAIN 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.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
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 of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.