Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products. They are employed by sheet metal fabrication shops, sheet metal products manufacturing companies, sheet metal work contractors and various industrial sectors.
Sheet metal workers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Read engineering and architectural drawings, sketches and work specifications to be performed, and lay out, measure and mark sheet metal according to drawings or templates
- Develop patterns for sheet metal using computer-assisted design and drafting (CAD) software package
- Operate light metalworking machines such as shears, brakes, punches, and drill presses, including computer numerical control (CNC) equipment to cut, bend, punch, drill, shape or straighten sheet metal
- Operate computerized laser or plasma cutting equipment to cut sheet metal
- Install and use rigging and hoisting equipment
- Fit and join sheet metal parts using riveting, welding, soldering and similar equipment to fabricate products such as ventilation shafts, exhaust hoods, eavestroughs, partition frames, air and heat ducts, material handling systems, roof decking and sheet metal buildings
- Install sheet metal products according to specifications and building codes
- Grind and buff seams, joints and rough surfaces
- Inspect product quality and installation to ensure conformance to specifications.
- Sheet metal workers may specialize in onsite installation or shop manufacture of sheet metal products, or servicing and maintenance of installed equipment and systems.
- Completion of secondary school is usually required.
- Completion of a three- to five-year apprenticeship program or
- A combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in sheet metal working is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
- Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified sheet metal workers.
- Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
Red Seal trade certification allows for interprovincial mobility.