Sheet Metal Workers

(NOC 7233)

in All Trades and Transportation

Sheet metal workers design, make, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and parts. They work for sheet metal fabrication shops, sheet metal products manufacturing companies, sheet metal work contractors and various industrial sectors.

Job Outlook

average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: average, mostly balanced conditions in the labour market.

Size of the occupation: this is a medium-sized occupation with opportunities occurring mainly through turnover.

Demand: Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions. Several positions will become available due to retirements.

Unemployment: There are several unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Work hours: full-time, normally. Jobs are either permanent or temporary, both are common.

Hourly Pay

$17.00

Minimum

$29.28

Median

$36.77

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,567

Minimum

$40,973

Median

$76,127

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Sheet metal workers design, make, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal products and parts. They work for sheet metal fabrication shops, sheet metal products manufacturing companies, sheet metal work contractors and various industrial sectors.

Job duties

Sheet metal workers:

  • 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.
  • Use light metalworking machines like shears, brakes, punches, and drill presses, including computer numerical control (CNC) equipment to cut, bend, punch, drill, shape or straighten sheet metal.
  • Use 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 produce products like 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 make sure they meet 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

  • mechanical and mathematical aptitude
  • hand-eye coordination
  • spatial perception and manual dexterity
  • ability to work at heights
  • patience, dependability, and accuracy
  • physical stamina
  • agility and coordination
  • capable of climbing, reaching, crouching and handling materials
  • ability to read blueprints and drafting specifications
  • communication skills

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 7,200-hour apprenticeship program with four apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option: 10,800 hours and other criteria.
  • Certification for sheet metal workers is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for sheet metal workers.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Setting: indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. They make some products in a shop and install them at construction sites. Other products like siding and roofing need to be cut and measured at the construction site.
  • Noisy work environment and in high or cramped spaces. Considerable standing, climbing, kneeling, lifting and carrying is common. Workers may need to lift and move heavy items.
  • The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time.
  • Although most of the work is done indoors, you must be willing to work outdoors and at heights.
  • Work hours: 40-hour workweek, but overtime may be required to meet deadlines.
  • Risks: working with sharp metal pieces, at heights, around loud noise and vibration, and exposure to heat and fumes.
  • 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.
  • New materials and different installation techniques and joining methods require upgrading of skills for some sheet metal workers. The increased use of computer-controlled equipment is transforming the skills required for this group.
  • Experienced sheet metal workers act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also become specialists in design and layout, and move into other positions such as estimators, supervisors or business owners.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

495

employed in 2016

94.9%

employed full-time

5.1%

self employed

3.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

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

$49,412 median annual income
23.2%

North Shore

$32,653 median annual income
16.2%

Cape Breton

$45,599 median annual income
8.1%

Annapolis Valley

$50,307 median annual income
4.0%

Southern

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

55.1%

Construction

33.3%

Manufacturing

5.8%

Public administration

2.9%

Wholesale trade

2.9%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

26.0%

55-64

24.0%

25-34

21.0%

45-54

12.0%

35-44

11.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

54.1%

Trade Certification

$46,779 median annual income
19.4%

High school

$29,407 median annual income
17.3%

College Diploma

$49,649 median annual income
7.1%

Less than high school

$41,461 median annual income
2.0%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Sheet Metal Worker

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 7,200 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students 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

Various, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Sheet Metal Worker

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local 409
Halifax, NS
BuildForce Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades
Lakeside, NS
Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trade Council
Sydney, NS
Sheet Metal Workers and Roofers International Association Local 56
Edwardsville, NS