Sheet Metal Worker

About the Job

Sheet metal workers make or install products made of thin metal sheets. Sheet metal is thin steel, aluminum, or another alloy metal. Examples of products made by metal workers include HVAC ducts, metal roofing, siding, and gutters.

What You’ll Do

Metal workers select the required type of metal according to the product plans. They will measure and mark all dimensions and reference lines on the metal sheets, then drill holes where screws, bolts, or rivets will be placed. If manufacturing a product in a plant, they then install the metal sheets on supportive frameworks. If installing on a jobsite, they will fabricate the product there. One the product is in place, sheet metal workers will fasten the seams and joints by welding, soldering, bolting, or riveting. Sheet metal workers may also install nonmetallic materials like fiberglass and plastic board.

 The following are examples of sheet metal workers:

Fabrication sheet metal workers

Installation sheet metal workers

Maintenance sheet metal workers

Testing and balancing sheet metal specialists 

Qualities and Skills Needed

Computer skills


Math skills

Mechanical skills

Physical stamina

Physical strength

Education Required

Welders require special training. Some welders complete a few weeks of classes, while others complete postsecondary coursework; others may also combine training and work experience. Many secondary-level technical schools allow aspiring welders to take certification tests, and further training is available in postsecondary institutions such as vocational–technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding, soldering, and brazing schools. The US Armed Forces also maintains welding and soldering schools. Although not always required, many companies require welders to be certified, which can be done via an apprenticeship or at technical school. 

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The average starting salary is $32,380. With experience, they can possibly earn up to or over $54,259.

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