What Does a Sheet Metal Worker Do?

Sheet metal workers (308A) fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products.

Learn about the business case for training apprentices in sheet metal

Essential Skills for Success as a Sheet Metal Worker          NOC Code: 7261.

You may find additional information about  applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website - Construction sector link: www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/construction.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Reading drawings and sketches of work to be done, and laying out, measuring and marking sheet metal according to drawings or templates
  • Operating light metal working machines such as shears, brakes, punches and drill presses to cut, bend, punch drill, shape or straighten sheet metal
  • Operating laser or plasma cutting equipment to cut sheet metal
  • Grinding and buffing seams, joints and rough surfaces
  • Fitting and joining sheet metal parts using riveters, welding, soldering and similar equipment to fabricate products such as ventilation shafts, eaves troughs, partition frames, air and heat ducts, roof decking and sheet metal buildings
  • Working alone without much supervision to get the job done

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To successfully become a Sheet Metal worker, you should preferably have a secondary school diploma with credits in Math, English and Science.This is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 9,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification.

What’s Your Future as a Sheet Metal Worker?

Sheet metal workers generally work either on construction projects outdoors, or in manufacturing or shop work indoors. They may specialize in ornamental work, weather-proofing, air conditioning, or systems balancing. The increase in prefabrication, new developments in joining methods, the introduction of computerized drawing, more sophisticated measuring devices will continue to elevate skill levels in this trade. Lighter stronger materials (e.g. plastics) are being introduced as well as computer-controlled equipment. Examples of employers that hire sheet metal workers include:

  • Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Construction firms
  • Primary Steel producers
  • Metal producers
  • Exterior Construction firms
  • Stamping press and Coated Metal Products companies
  • Construction trades
  • Aircraft and Parts manufacturer
  • Building Construction firms

For additional information about this career, check out the construction sector website at: www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices generally earn substantially less than Journey people, however as your skill and expertise increase, so does your wage
  • Fully qualified Sheet Metal Workers generally earn $22-35 per hour, depending on the size of the shop they work for, their union status, and skill and what geographic area they live in


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Sheet Metal Worker For You?

Are you physically fit with good manual dexterity?

Yes      No

Can you work in cramped positions, or at heights?

Yes      No

Can you look at drawings and blueprints and visualize how things come together?

Yes      No

Are you good at using numbers and performing calculations?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy learning about new technology on an ongoing basis?

Yes      No

Can you work well independently or as a member of a team?

Yes      No

Can you communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers and other trades people?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Sheet Metal Worker may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Machinist
  • Tool & Die Maker
  • Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic


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