Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Sheet Metal Workers

What Sheet Metal Workers Do

Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems.

Work Environment

Sheet metal workers often lift heavy materials and stand for long periods of time. Those who install sheet metal must often bend, climb, and squat. Most work full time.

How to Become a Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet metal workers who work in construction typically learn their trade through an apprenticeship, while those who work in manufacturing often learn on the job or at a technical school.

Job Outlook

Employment of sheet metal workers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be particularly good for sheet metal workers who complete apprenticeship training or are certified welders.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 142,300 jobs in 2012 and 141,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 0.9%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 15.5% in 2022 to 164,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 146,700, compared with an observed value of 141,000, 3.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.7% in 2024 to 150,500 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 168,700 jobs for 2024, 12.1% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Sheet Metal Workers Employment and Labor Information 2023

Sheet Metal Workers Employment Brief:

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; or inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces. Includes sheet metal duct installers who install prefabricated sheet metal ducts used for heating, air conditioning, or other purposes.

Sheet Metal Workers Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Sheet Metal Workers.

Sheet Metal Workers Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Perform sheet metal work necessary for solar panel installations.
  • Finish parts, using hacksaws or hand, rotary, or squaring shears.
  • Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation.
  • Install green architectural sheet metal components, such as cool roofs or hot or cold walls.
  • Hire, train, or supervise new employees or apprentices.
  • Convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction or assembly of sheet metal products.
  • Inspect individual parts, assemblies, or installations, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, scales, or micrometers.
  • Maneuver completed roofing units into position for installation.
  • Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, or drills.
  • Construct components for high-performance wind turbine systems.

Typical Daily Tasks of Sheet Metal Workers:

  • Getting Information: Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates.
  • Handling and Moving Objects: Assemble products or production equipment. Fabricate parts or components. Install building fixtures. Install green structural components, equipment or systems. Install plumbing or piping. Install roofing materials. Mark reference points on construction materials. Position structural components. Smooth surfaces with abrasive materials or tools. Weld metal components.
  • Performing General Physical Activities: Move construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials: Inspect completed work to ensure proper installation. Inspect industrial or commercial equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Select construction materials.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Plan layout of construction, installation, or repairs.

Sheet Metal Workers Skills and Requirements:

  • Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • PresentationsUsing a computer application to create, manipulate, edit, and show virtual slide presentations.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Sheet Metal Workers Education and Training:

Typical education for include: High school diploma or equivalent.

Sheet Metal Workers Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Sheet Metal Workers average pay is: $26.61 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in Building Equipment Contractors are the highest paid making $32.92, while Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors make the least at $25.01 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Sheet Metal Workers:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Kankakee, IL




Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA




Longview, WA



1.32 Sheet Metal Workers data