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Details for Sheet Metal Workers


Fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks, or forms using hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces.


  • Determine project requirements, including scope, assembly sequences, and required methods and materials, according to blueprints, drawings, and written or verbal instructions.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, according to drawings or templates, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, and rulers.
  • Maneuver completed units into position for installation, and anchor the units.
  • Convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction and assembly of sheet metal products.
  • Install assemblies, such as flashing, pipes, tubes, heating and air conditioning ducts, furnace casings, rain gutters, and down spouts, in supportive frameworks.
  • Select gauges and types of sheet metal or non-metallic material, according to product specifications.
  • Drill and punch holes in metal, for screws, bolts, and rivets.
  • Fasten seams and joints together with welds, bolts, cement, rivets, solder, caulks, metal drive clips, and bonds to assemble components into products or to repair sheet metal items.
  • Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, and drills.
  • Trim, file, grind, deburr, buff, and smooth surfaces, seams, and joints of assembled parts, using hand tools and portable power tools.
  • Finish parts, using hacksaws, and hand, rotary, or squaring shears.
  • Maintain equipment, making repairs and modifications when necessary.
  • Shape metal material over anvils, blocks, or other forms, using hand tools.
  • Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation.
  • Develop and lay out patterns that use materials most efficiently, using computerized metalworking equipment to experiment with different layouts.
  • Inspect individual parts, assemblies, and installations for conformance to specifications and building codes, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Secure metal roof panels in place, and interlock and fasten grooved panel edges.
  • Fasten roof panel edges and machine-made molding to structures, nailing or welding pieces into place.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Related Careers

  • Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers
  • Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Molding and Casting Workers
  • Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Semiconductor Processors
  • Tool and Die Makers
Wages for this career
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