Sheet metal workers generally install ducts for air conditioning, fans, heating, and ventilation. Some may work in a factory environment in order to cut and create items made of sheet metal or test produced systems and components, while others service and repair existing sheet metal components and ensure that they run smoothly so existing systems can be better preserved.
The abilities to lift heavy items, bend and stoop, and stand for long periods of time are necessary for the position, and some work in confined spaces. Good manual dexterity, welding, and the ability to use hand and power tools are also important. Some tasks are performed independently, but it's also important to work on teams. There is a high risk for injury in this job, so it is essential to perform all work with the utmost care.
Some jobs require sheet metal workers to have graduated from a technical school. Jobs are usually full-time, but can also be on a temporary or per-project basis. Some experience may be required, which can be acquired from apprenticeships or previous employment. Certain jobs may also require a journeyman certification, which can be acquired with adequate work experience and testing. Some sheet metal workers also have HVAC certification in order to install and repair HVAC components.
Sheet Metal Worker Tasks
Manufacture small parts and components for use in final pieces.
Inspect, troubleshoot, and repair metal systems like locomotives, airplanes, and generators.
Use torches, drills, lathes, or other equipment to cut, shape, smooth, and bend metal to meet specifications.
Read and interpret blueprints, templates, schematics, and other drawings to correctly create products.