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Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet metal workers design, fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products. In fabrication work, sheet metal workers lay out and measure pieces to specifications. They use tools such as power shears, press brakes, drill presses and computerized cutting equipment to cut and shape material. They assemble and join the pieces using various techniques such as welding and using mechanical fasteners. They work with black iron, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, nickel, tin plate and other alloys. Some may also work with fibreglass, ceramics, plastics and other metal substitutes. Pieces may be laid out and cut in the shop and assembled on construction or industrial sites. Sheet metal workers may specialize in onsite installation, shop manufacture, or servicing and maintenance of installed equipment and systems. Those who work in installation may specialize in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), boiler lagging / vessel cladding, roofing products, architectural sheet metal, custom metal products, food service products, secondary systems for environmental projects, pneumatic conveyance or signage.

Employers in this trade include sheet metal fabrication shops, manufacturing companies of sheet metal, and air conditioning and heating contractors. Sheet metal workers may be involved in residential, industrial, commercial, institutional and construction sectors. Key attributes for people entering this trade are mechanical and mathematical aptitude, hand-eye coordination, spatial perception and manual dexterity. Good physical condition is important because the work often requires considerable standing, climbing, lifting and carrying. Hazards of the trade include working with sharp metal pieces, working at heights and heat from welding and cutting processes. Sheet metal workers often have to work in adverse weather and environmental conditions.

Experienced sheet metal workers may become specialists in design and layout, estimators, supervisors or business owners. More >

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