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Sheet Metal Worker

NOTE: The following description is a GENERAL Overview of this career and not a description of a particular job posting.

Sheet Metal Workers plan, lay-out, fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal parts, equipment and products such as air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, and pollution control duct systems. They also work with fiberglass and plastic materials. Although some workers specialize in fabrication, installation, or maintenance, most do all three jobs. The sheet metal worker uses such hand tools as scribes, tri-squares, protractors, calipers, tape measures and scales(rulers). He/she will also operate various fabricating machines such as power shears, press brakes, forming rolls, and notchers. Sheet metal workers lay-out and bend prescribed allowances on said sheet metal, make angle-bends and notching of parts. The more senior Sheet Metal Workers will also be able to weld using electric and/or gas fed devices. Before assembling completed sheet metal, sheet metal workers check each part for accuracy using measuring instruments such as calipers and tape measures, and if necessary, finish the product by using hand rotary, tri-squares, or shears. After the parts have been inspected, workers fasten seams and joints together with welds (wire, gas, heli-arc and/or stick), bolts, cement, rivets, solder, specially formed sheet metal drive clips, or other connecting devices. Advanced sheet metal workers will be required to use various drafting skills, read blueprints, possess knowledge of, and be able to interpret plans and specifications, and also have a general ability to use advanced math such as trigonometry and geometry.
National Median Wages (2010): $20.05 hourly, $41,710 annually
A career as a Sheet Metal Worker typically requires a high school diploma, and anywhere from a few months to one year of experience working with the required tools and skills, particularly in a marine environment. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed.