Sheet Metal Workers Local #480

What Sheet Metal Workers Do Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used for heating and air conditioning. 

Work Environment Sheet metal workers often lift heavy materials and stand for long periods. Those who install sheet metal often must bend, climb, and squat, sometimes in awkward positions. Most work full time.

How to Become a Sheet Metal Worker Although most sheet metal workers, particularly those in construction, learn their trade through an apprenticeship, those who work in manufacturing often learn on the job or at a technical college.

The median annual wage for sheet metal workers was $43,290 in May 2012.

Job Outlook Employment of sheet metal workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be particularly good for sheet metal workers who complete apprenticeship training or those who are certified welders.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Sheet Metal Workers,
on the Internet at (visited May 12, 2014).

Most sheet metal workers learn their trade through 4- or 5-year apprenticeships. Each year, apprentices must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical instruction.

Apprentices learn construction basics such as blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices.   

A worker marks metal before drilling holes

Sheet metal workers typically do the following:

  • 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
  • Install metal sheets with supportive frameworks
  • Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites
  • Maneuver large sheet metal parts to be installed, and anchor the parts
  • Fasten seams or joints by welding, bolting, riveting, or soldering

Learn more about sheet metal workers