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Sheet Metal Workers

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NOC:7233
Occupation:Sheet Metal Workers
Category:Trades and Transportation

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Sheet Metal Workers350Moderate growth30High
Minimum: $17.50
Median: $27.00
Maximum: $45.00
Minimum: $13,567
Median: $40,973
Maximum: $76,127
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Sheet Metal WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time96%89%
Percent self-employed20%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentSheet Metal WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern4%x12%$30,581
Northern23%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton16%x13%$32,974
Halifax48%$42,77747%$41,209
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeSheet Metal WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-2415%x
25-3423%13%
35-4420%33%
45-5416%34%
55-6417%19%
65+11%x
Median Age4647
GenderSheet Metal WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female2%5%
Male98%95%
EducationSheet Metal WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school7.4%x18.2%$25,753
High school20.2%x25.5%$28,089
Trades certificate53.2%x29.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma17.0%x22.6%$39,023
University certificate or diplomaxx1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degreexx2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx0.2%$41,705
Master's degreexx0.3%x
Doctoratexx0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

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
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful 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
info@nscsc.ca
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Sheet metal technology/sheetworking
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises 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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Sheet Metal Worker