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.
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.
Completion of secondary 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 for sheet metal workers is compulsory in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the territories.
Trade certification for precision sheet metal set-up operator is available, but voluntary in Quebec.
Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified sheet metal workers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.
Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
Aircraft sheet metal technicians (in 7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors)
Metalworking and forging machine operators (9416)
Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters (7235)
Supervisors of sheet metal workers (in 7201 Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations)
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