A Sheet Metal Worker will create, install and maintain products made from sheet metal. Usually this involves working with ventilation systems or heating and cooling mechanisms. Their job can also include creating and repairing roofing and drainage. Many workers are highly skilled tradesmen while others may work on metal assembly lines and other less specialised tasks.
Typically, they will be employed by a manufacturer, metal shop or construction site. The main potential specialisations include installation, maintenance and fabrication, however, it is more common for a worker to perform all three duties. Although these tradesmen have a very hands on role there is some plan and blueprint reading required in order to ensure the task at hand is performed with precision.
The apprenticeship required to work within this trade usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based training program. However, it certainly also accepts applicants that are older than school-age. Older students with prior relevant experience or certification may be more readily taken into the program.
This role poses a number of workplace injury risks such as strain from heavy lifting or, more seriously, exposure to fumes. Completing proper training and utilising safety gear can help avoid obtaining injury from tools or materials on the job.
Employees in this line of work use a huge range of tools including wrenches, chisels, caulking guns, hacksaws, bolt cutters, hammers and many more. These tools are used in both the composition and installation process, as well as while carrying out repairs on existing products.
Most in this line of work will use welding or soldering when fusing together metals during their daily tasks. Hence, a prospective employee applying to an apprenticeship may be more readily accepted if they have existing welding experience or certification.
The average annual salary is $53,402. However, they may earn anywhere between $42,712 - $67,173 depending on experience and industry.
They may choose to specialise in a particular industry depending on their past experience or their personal interests. An individual with a passion for trains or transport may focus on working within the rail industry, while other workers may enjoy the large-scale production and workmen camaraderie of a construction site. Due to their experience in welding, these tradesmen are also excellent candidates for obtaining additional qualifications and becoming boilermakers.
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