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Job Description for Tinsmith
Tinsmiths, also known as tin sheet metal workers, work at construction sites and metal-making facilities. He works for construction companies, factories, custom shops or is a self-employed contractor. He creates decorative designs and functional items, such as gutters and roofs. Attention to detail and fine hand motor skills are essential qualities in his construction profession.
Tin sheet metal workers construct and install a variety of functional and decorative housing items, such as awnings, drains, grills, gutters, moldings, roofs, spouts and walls. She uses drills, hammers, saws, welding irons and automated machinery.
Tinsmiths interact with carpenters, roofers, welders, construction and factory supervisors.
A high school diploma is required. A tinsmiths learns his craft through on-the-job training or formalized apprenticeships that last up to five years. Apprentices receive classroom instruction from experienced sheet metal tradesmen to complement daily work duties. Tuition for these formal training sessions is free. First-year apprentices earn approximately 50 percent of an experienced sheet metal worker's salary.
Courses in basic mathematics, blueprint reading, computer assisted design, or CAD, geometry and mechanical drawing are beneficial. Courses in accounting, marketing, small business and personnel management are helpful for self-employed tinsmiths.
Tinsmith sheet metal workers need to be comfortable working with sharp objects. She needs agility, physical strength and the ability to work in cramped quarters or harsh environments.
Manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination to use specialized tools are integral. Precise measuring skills are essential. Conceptual and planning skills are important to formulate ideas and complete projects. Customer service and marketing skills are required for self-employed tinsmiths.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, the mean hourly wage for sheet metal workers was $21.30, as of May 2008. The mean annual salary was $44,310. Sheet metal workers earned yearly salaries from $23,760 to $73,560.
Future job opportunities, according to BLS, are moderate for sheet metal workers. The projected job growth rate is 6 percent. This figure represents a slower-than-average rate compared with all other occupations. Sheet metal workers in the manufacturing industry may experience a decline in opportunities due to automation and outsourcing of work.
- Restoration Trades Directory: Metalworkers, Tin Sheet
- International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry: Questions and Answers FAQs
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008: Sheet Metal Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010 - 2011: Sheet Metal Workers
Steve Amoia is a writer, book reviewer and translator from Washington, D.C. He began his writing career as a software technical writer. Amoia focuses on career-related themes, Chinese martial/healing arts and international soccer journalism.