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