Sheet Metal Workers

(NOC 7233)

in All Trades and Transportation

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 may specialize in on-site installation or shop manufacture of sheet metal products, or servicing and maintenance of installed equipment and systems.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Sheet Metal Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 43% of Sheet Metal Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $58,723. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$17.50

Minimum

$27.00

Median

$45.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,567

Minimum

$40,973

Median

$76,127

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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 may specialize in on-site installation or shop manufacture of sheet metal products, or servicing and maintenance of installed equipment and systems.

Job duties

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.

Sample job titles

  • construction sheet metal worker
  • industrial sheet metal worker
  • maintenance sheet metal worker
  • sheet metal fabricator
  • sheet metal installer
  • sheet metal mechanic
  • sheet metal roofer
  • sheet metal worker

Skills

For these jobs, you should have physical stamina, agility, and coordination, and be capable of climbing, reaching, crouching, and handling heavy materials. Although most of the work is done indoors, you must be willing to work outdoors and at heights. You must be able to read blueprints and drafting specifications and perform basic mathematical calculations.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high 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.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified sheet metal workers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

Jobs in the construction industry are strongly affected by seasonal changes and general economic conditions, and many jobs are on a project basis. As a result, workers in these jobs should expect periods of unemployment throughout the year, with employment peaking in the summer months. The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time.

Technology is impacting the skill levels required for this group. New materials and different installation techniques and joining methods require an upgrading of skills for some sheet metal workers. Also, the increased use of computer-controlled equipment is transforming the skills required for this group. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

350

employed in 2016

95.7%

employed full-time

4.3%

self employed

2.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.5%

Halifax

23.2%

Northern

16.2%

Cape Breton

8.1%

Annapolis Valley

4.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

53.5%

Construction

22.5%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

9.9%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

5.6%

Public Administration

2.8%

Other Services

What is the age of Employment?

22.7%

25-34

20.0%

35-44

17.3%

55-64

16.0%

45-54

14.7%

15-24

10.7%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

53.2%

Trades certificate

N/A
20.2%

High school

N/A
17.0%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
7.4%

Less than high school

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Sheet metal technology/sheetworking

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to form, shape, bend and fold extruded metals, including the creation of new products, using hand tools and machines such as cornice brakes, forming rolls, and squaring shears.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Sheet Metal Worker

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local 409
14 McQuade Lake Crescent, Suite 105
Halifax, NS B3S 1B6
Tel: (902) 450-5165
Fax: 902-450.5123
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

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