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Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers
Quick Facts : Sheet Metal Workers*
2010 Median Pay$41,710
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012136,100
Job Outlook18% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change23,900

Sheet metal workers make, install, and maintain thin sheet metal products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used for heating and air-conditioning. They usually work in small shops and manufacturing plants that are well-ventilated. They must often lift heavy materials and stand for long periods. Most fabrication work is done in shops with some final assembly done on the job and some are done completely at the jobsite.

What Sheet Metal Workers Do

  • 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
  • Maneuver large parts to be installed, and anchor the parts
  • Fasten seams or joints by welding, bolting, riveting, or soldering

Work Environment

Sheet metal workers often lift heavy materials and stand for long periods. Those who install sheet metal at construction sites or inside buildings often must bend, climb, and squat, sometimes in awkward positions. Most workers are employed full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of sheet metal workers is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, however, growth reflects more industrial, commercial, and residential structures expected to be built over the coming decade.
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In May 2010, the average salary of sheet metal workers was $41,710.
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Sheet Metal Workers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Sheet Metal Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Sheet Metal Workers*
Percent Change in Employment

Sheet Metal Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Sheet Metal Workers

Formal apprenticeships are more likely in construction. Most sheet metal workers learn their trade through 4- or 5-year apprenticeships. Apprentices learn construction basics such as blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices.
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