Let us try to know more about ourselves to understand if we are fit for the career as Sheet Metal Worker.
Do we like to work with our hands and machines? Are we physically fit? Like to work alone. Enjoy using precision tools. Able to create three-dimensional drawings. Is self-motivated and creative.
If you possess the above skills and qualities, then you are the right person for the career of Sheet Metal Worker.
What is Sheet Metal?
Sheet Metal is a thin steel, aluminium, or other alloyed metal sheet with thickness of less than 6mm (about 0.24 in). Sheet metals are used for manufacturing and construction. Although sheet metal is commonly used for heating and conditioning systems, they are also used to make products such as rain gutters, outdoor signs, and siding.
Sheet metal plays an important role in the household, semi-commercial, commercial and industrial sectors.
What is a Sheet Metal Worker?
A sheet metal worker is a skilled worker who fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products. This includes everything from furnaces and ventilation systems to all sheet metal products like drainage and roofing applications used in the construction industry.
What does a Sheet Metal Worker do?
Sheet Metal workers are mostly employed at various construction sites, in metal shops, or at manufacturing plants. They are employed by sheet metal, air-conditioning, heating and roofing contractors. They can also be self-employed.
The sheet metal technician specializes in any aspect of sheet metal fabrication, installation, or maintenance but must possess knowledge and experience of all three areas.
Depending on their specialization, sheet metal worker job description includes the following.
- Manufacturing and installation of various metal products such as air and heat, sheet metal buildings and roofs.
- They must measure, mark and lay out metal sheets for specific jobs.
- They must be able to operate various computerized tools that precisely cut, bend or straighten the metal sheets.
- Polishing metal areas like rough surfaces or the seams and joints between two metal sheets.
- They must be able to weld different metal sheets together.
- They must be able to read and apply work specifications.
What are the types of Sheet Metal Workers?
Here are a few examples of sheet metal workers near you.
Fabrication sheet metal workers
Fabrication or precision sheet metal workers make precision metal parts for various industries ranging from power generation to medical device manufacturing. They work in shops and factories, operating tools and equipment. They also work in large scale manufacturing where their work may be highly automated and repetitive. They are required to work with automotive machinery such as computer-controlled saws, lasers, shears, and presses, which measure, cut, bend, and fasten pieces of sheet metal. Workers also use computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) and building information modelling (BIM) systems to make products. Workers who primarily program computerized equipment are called metal and plastic workers.
Installation sheet metal workers
Sheet metal mechanics install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts. They also install other sheet metal products like metal roofs, siding and gutters. They mostly work on new construction and renovation projects.
Maintenance sheet metal workers
These types of sheet metal workers repair and clean ventilation systems to make them more energy efficient. They remove dust and moisture and fix leaks or breaks in the sheet metal that makes up the ductwork.
Testing and balancing sheet metal specialists
These metal specialists make sure that HVAC systems heat and cool rooms properly by adjusting sheet metal ducts to achieve proper airflow.
Workplace of sheet metal workers
Normally, the work duration of a sheet metal worker or sheet metalist is about 40 hours (about 1 and a half days) per week. However, a small percentage of workers who are self-employed may work nights or weekends to complete time-sensitive projects on a construction site or inside a sheet metal shop.
Sheet metal working is labor-intensive. It means that workers are required to lift heavy materials and equipment. They have to keep standing for a long period of time, bend over, and sometimes crawl into small spaces to install products.
How can you become a Sheet metal worker?
Sheet metal workers must have an interest in the building interest area. The building interest area focuses on working with tools and machines and making or fixing practical things. You can take a career test to decide whether you have building interest to fit you with a career as a sheet metal worker.
Skills Required for Metal Sheet Metals
Here are the most important skills for a successful career as a metal sheet worker.
As a sheet metalist you will have to work with various tools such as saws, shears, pressers and lasers, which requires strong mechanical skills.
Good hand-eye coordination and motor skills are required for precise and safely cutting metal pieces by metal sheet welders.
Today most sheet metal technicians use computer aided draft and design (CADD) programs and building information manual (BIM) systems to design products and cut sheet metals.
Sheet metal fitters must be able to calculate exact sizes and angles for the sheets of different sizes and shapes to fit during installation.
Physical strength and stamina
Since most metal sheet workers are required to work in factories where they have to spend many hours standing up and lifting pieces of metal and equipment, they require strong physical strength and stamina.
Training and Certifications for Sheet metal workers
Here are the steps for you to become a sheet metal worker.
Step 1: Graduate from a high school
Although in India least education qualification for sheet metal workers is a high school degree. They must be proficient in subjects like algebra and geometry as well they should take vocational educational courses like mechanical drawing, welding and blueprint reading from some technical schools.
Step 2: Join a sheet metal apprentice program
After graduating high school, a sheet metal worker must take an apprentice program. Such programs include both classroom participation and practical on the job training, under the supervision of a senior sheet metal worker. The apprentices normally receive a stipend during the program. A typical apprentice program includes about 1700 to 2200 hours (about 3 months) of practical training and between 144 to 320 hours (about 2 weeks) of theoretical training. The students gain crucial sheet metal working skills, such as knowledge to read blueprints, building code requirements as well as first aid safety practices.
Step 3: Get your licence and certifications
In India you can get your training as well as your certification from vocational college like I.T.I. (Industrial Training Institute). The duration of the program in ITI is one year with two semesters of six months. The I.T.I .Program covers areas like fabrication, assembling, installing and repairing metal sheet products and equipment like ducts, control boxes, drainpipes, and furnishing castings. The students also learn to set up and operate fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal. They also learn to inspect, assemble, and smoothen seams and joints of burred surfaces. The program is career oriented and opens many jobs for ITI Sheet Metal apprentices in the sheet metal industry once they get their certification from ITI.
Step 4: Look for jobs as sheet metal worker
The candidates can now look for a job after completing their training and getting their certifications. Job boards and networking with people in the heating, cooling and air-conditioning industry are usually the most effective ways to find jobs in the field.
Sheet Metal apprentice syllabus in ITI
Here is the syllabus of sheet metal workers in various ITI training centers in India is given below.
|Sr. No.||Subjects of Study|
|Trade Practical||Trade Theory|
|1||– Induction of training
– Familiarization with the Institute,
– Importance of trade in Training
– Machines used in the trade.
– Induction to safety devices used on the shop floor.
|– General discipline in the institute
– Elementary of First aid
– Importance of sheet metal work in the industry.
– General safety precautions
– Safety precaution in sheet metal work
|2||– Identification of Tools and equipment
– Induction and use of marking tools.
– Practice in Reading, Steel Rule, scribing of straight lines, bisecting straight lines (on the sheet metal) using marking tools.
|– Metals and Non-Metals and their Characteristics,
– Types, Sizes and uses of Sheet Metals as per BIS
– use of reference table.
– Raw material information: CRCA, HRCA & MS Material
– Terms & definitions in sheet metal work
|3||– Mark and cut through the straight lines
– Planishing of Sheet Metal and Practice in drawing simple Geometrical shapes.
– Practice in marking and cutting sheets to various angles.
|– Marking and laying out tools and accessories
– Measuring Tools: steel Rule, callipers, try square, L square, Micrometer, Vernier calliper, Vernier height gauge, Combination set, screw pitch gauge, radius gauge, SWG, Bevel Protractor etc.
– Marking Tools: Scratch AWL, divider, Trammel point, punches etc
– Cutting tools: Snips, shears, hacksaw, chisel, cutting plier, files, drills, tap & die sets etc.
|4||– Practice cutting with different types of snips.
– Tin snips (Straight cut, Right cut and Left cut) cutting off inside and outside curve, cutting off notches and cutting off profiles.
|– Hand tools: mallets, hammer, sheet metal hammers,
groovers, riveting tools, screw drivers, wrench and spanners etc.
– Holding tools & accessories: vices,
– C clamps, stakes, stakes holder, hollow mandrel, wooden former, Jigs & fixtures, soldering bits etc
|5||Practice on Sheet Metal seams. “Grooved seam, Locked Grooved seam, Pane down seam, Bottom lock seam or Corner Fold (Knocked-up seam), Corner Clip Lock, Double Bottom Lock, Clip Lock (Cap Lock),
snap Joint etc. (Folded Joints) and hemming practice
|– Sheet Metal Folded Joints: Description of Sheet Metal Seam, Grooved seam, Locked Grooved seam, Paned down seam, knocked up seam inside and outside, cap strip seam, pits burg seam etc.|
|6||– Forming rectangular shapes using stakes.
– Forming Cylindrical job using various stakes such as Hollow Mandrel, Hatchet Stake; Tin Man’s’ Anvil stake etc.
|Folding and joining allowances, edge stiffing, wiring allowances and false wiring, types of notches in sheet metal.|
|7||Folding, Bending Sheet Metal to 90 degree using wooden mallet, ‘C’ clamps etc.||Definitions of pattern, Development, stretched out pattern, Master pattern (gross pattern) and templates|
|8||– Make a taper chute square to rectangle transition. – Make a taper chute square to round.||Development of surfaces: Triangulation method and geometrical construction methods|
|9||Making holes with solid punches, round punches as per BIS and use of hollow punches
– Making a hole in sheet metal with the help of a wood block.
|Solid and Hollow Punches. Description of hand punches as per BIS. Sizes of solid and hollow Punches and their uses.
|10||– Riveting practice using various types of rivet heads.
– Single chain riveted joint. Double chain and Zig- zag, Lap & butt riveted joints – Making a dustpan (Corner and handle riveted)
|Rivets and its parts, Selection of Rivet heads. Types of Rivets and their uses.
– Standard sizes of Rivets and Riveting Tools.
– Calculation for Riveting allowances (pitch and Lap)
|11||– Solder Lap joint
– Single plated solder butt joint
|– Fastening of Sheet Metal
– Self taping screws, Clips and Connectors; Their uses, Types and Allowance of ‘S’ Clips, Government Clips, Drive Clips, Mailing Clips etc.
|12||– Making an oil Can by hand process by soldering
– Making funnel by soldering process
|Solder, Different types of solder and their composition. Types and uses of fluxes, their effect on different metals.|
|13||Make by soldering: –
Elbow 90° equal dia pipe
T joint 90° equal dia pipe
T joint 90° unequal dia pipe by soldering
|Process of soft soldering, hard soldering (brazing). – Heating appliances (Hand Forge, Blow Lamp, L.P.G.)|
|14||Make by soldering T Pipe 60°branch joint unequal dia pipe Offset T joint equal dia||Development & layout pattern of elbow pipe, T pipe and offset pipe in equal diameter.|
|15||Make a taper lobster back bend 90 degree from oblique cone by soldering||– Development of T pipe, round equal and unequal. – Introduction to tubes and pipes.|
|16||Forming square section segmental quarter bend pipe with suitable lock and forming round section segmental quarter bend pipe||Laying out pattern of 600 off-set ‘T’ pipe. Pattern Development of ‘Y’ pipe.|
|17||Making a square duct elbow with snap block||Method of galvanising, tinning, anodizing, sherardizing and Electroplating.|
|18||Make a conical hopper by soldering||Development and laying out of pattern of segmental quarter bend pipe|
|19||Setting up of oxy-acetylene plant and types of flames||Need for ducting. Places where ducting is employed and the working principle of a dust cyclone, Gutter and its use. False ceiling|
|20||Setting up of Arc welding plant and striking & maintaining the arc & laying short beads||– Safety precaution in gas & arc welding
– Description of Oxyacetylene plant and the equipment, accessories & tools
|21||– Fusion run with/without filler rod in flat position.
– Square butt joint in flat position by gas.
|– Types of oxy-acetylene flames & its uses
– Types and description of flux
– Types of welding blow pipes.& its functions
|22||Brazing copper sheet in lap joint in flat position
|Various types of pipe joints.
– Method of metal preparation & cleaning the base metal before welding.
– Gas welding defects causes & remedies.
– Arc welding defects causes & remedies.
|Trade Practical||Trade Theory|
|1||– Importance of machinery used in the trade.
– Types of job done by the trainees in trade
– Introduction to machinery safety including fire fighting equipment and their uses etc.
|– Importance of trade in the development of the Industrial Economy of the Country.
– review of Types of sheet metal Fabrication.
– Methods of development.
|2||– Locked groove joint by aluminium sheet
– Single riveted lap joint by aluminium sheet.
– Double strap single row riveted butt joint by aluminium
|– Introduction to aluminium fabrication, and its applications.
– Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals. use of Copper and Alloys.
– Laying out the pattern of conical elbows. Pattern development of lobster back bend
|3||– Exercise involving practical work on aluminium Sheet and using Pop Rivet.
– aluminium Windows with. Different extruded sections, aluminium Soldering.
|– Brief Description of hand punch machine. Hand and Power operated drilling Machines. Drill Bits, parts and effects of cutting angles.|
|4||– Making holes in sheet metal using a Punching Machine.
– Making holes in sheets with a twist drill.
|– Description of the swaging and beading machine, its parts, operating principles etc.
– Description of Fly Ball press. Operating Principles of Power Press and press brakes.
|5||– Practice on hollowing and rising on nonferrous sheets as well as ferrous sheet.
– Practice removing dents of spherical or hemi-spherical articles using a wheeling and raising machine. (Repairing mud guards etc.)
|– Properties of stainless steel and its uses.
– Properties and uses of tin, lead, zinc and silver.
– Description and Physical properties of Muntz Metal, Gun Metal, White Metal etc.
|6||– Practice pipe bending by hand. Pipe bending using Hydraulic Pipe bending’ machine
– Development of a cone: Cylinder fitted to a cone. Equal dia pipe joint with crimping and Ogee beading.
|– Introduction to pipe/tube bending.
– Brief description of Hydraulic pipe bending machine. Operating Principles etc.
– Description of roll forming machine types and operating principles, description of slip roll forming machine and its function
|7||– Practice external threading using “Die stock”.
– Practice on internal threading using taps
|– use of Die and Die Holder, Description of taps and tap wrench.|
|8||– Project work such as Steel Stool, aluminium Ladder etc.
– Metal Spinning: Making a cylindrical medicine container of aluminium Sheet
|– Method to operate the folding/brake folder for typical folding.
– Description and use of jigs and fixtures
|9||– Making a Copper article by using a power press and also making brass and stainless-steel articles.
– Practice of Buffing and polishing
|– Definition of Planishing and its application. Brief description of the polishing machine. Various types of bobs and polishing compounds|
|10||– Angle iron bending in different angles and different radii. Twisting the M.S. square rod and flats.||Operating principles of spinning lathe. Description of spinning|
|11||Gas welding square butt joint on M.S. sheet in down hand position. Fillet Tee & Lap joint on M.S sheet in down hand position.||Different processes of metal joining types of weld joint & weld positions. oxy-acetylene welding equipment & application, Types of flame & their uses|
|12||– Pipe butt joint in down hand position
– Butt joint on MS flat in down hand position by arc
|– Principle of arc welding. Types of welding machines and their uses. Advantages a|
|13||– Resistance welding. Spot welding, seam welding.||Principle of resistance welding. Types and applications. Welding symbols|
|14||CO2 welding. Deposit bead on MS sheet in flat position. Lap joint T joint and butt joint in down hand position.||– Introduction to the CO2 welding process. Welding equipment and accessories. Advantages and application of CO2 process.|
|15||TIG welding. Deposit bead on SS sheet in flat position. Making butt, Tee and corner joints.||TIG welding process. Advantages. Description of equipment. Types of polarity and application|
|16||– TIG welding. Deposit bead on Aluminium sheet in flat position. Making butt, Tee and corner joints.||– Types of Tungsten Electrodes, Filler rods, Shielding Gases.
– Defects, causes and remedy in TIG welding process
|17||MS/SS pipe butt and Y joint by TIG welding process.||– Latest sheet metal cutting techniques: Plasma cutting, Laser cutting, water jet cutting and punching etc.|
|18||Make models of aluminium sliding windows and doors.||Specification of aluminium channels angles, strips, tubes beading, packing rubber, cardboard, glasses etc.|
|19||Partitions of mini model rooms by using aluminium channels beading etc.
|– Tools and equipment used in aluminium fabrication.
– Assembly & Sub assembly: Guarding assembly, Door assembly, Chassis assembly, Cabinet assembly, Power pack assembly etc.
|20||Electrical Panel, trunk boxes & ducts fabrication and Painting||– Process of painting. Spray painting. Etch primer painting, Powder coating, buffing, grinding, and sanding.
– Selection of different grit sizes
|21||Any Special Exercises: Repairing Mudguard and Radiators and testing of Sheet metal containers||Types of Radiators and construction of Radiators, Mufflers, Estimation of work|
|22||Any Special Exercises: Repairing Blocked Silencer and fuel tank||– Material handling: handling of light, medium and heavy materials.
– use of cranes and types.
– Estimation and costing
ITI colleges offering sheet metal programs
- Boys Town Industrial Training center, Hyderabad
- Shree Vinayaka Industrial Training Institute, Kolar
- Gyan Jyoti Shikshan Sansthan,, Alwar
- All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society’s Industrial Training Institute (AISSMS), Pune
Why should you become a Sheet Metal worker?
The employment of sheet metal workers like any other construction workers, is sensitive to fluctuation in the economy. Sometimes they may face unemployment due to the fall in construction. And other times there may be a shortage of sheet metal workers due to the increased demand for them.
Indian sheet metal fabrication Industry trends
The Indian sheet metal fabrication market is fragmented in nature, with the presence of many small and medium sized companies and EPC companies. The rise in demand of goods and services across various sectors in India coupled with the entry of global manufacturing companies to India due to low cost in setting up plants in India and China has led to the sharp growth in the Indian manufacturing sector.
The Indian manufacturing sector is expected to register a growth of more than six times the current value, by 2025, to USD 1 trillion. The growth in the manufacturing sector, in turn, is likely to increase the number of manufacturing facilities in India which has resulted in the increase of growth rate of the Indian Fabrication industry leading to greater employment.
Despite the pandemic which has led to the dent in the growth of Indian fabrication industry, the industry is anticipated to register a CAGR of greater than 5% during the forecast period.
The top players in Indian fabrication industry are
- Salasar Techno Engineering Ltd.
- Kirby Building Systems
- Zamil Industrial Investment Co.
- Karamtara Engineering Pvt Ltd.
- ISGEC Heavy Engineering Ltd.
The employment of sheet metal workers is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028 in India which is faster than the growth rate of other occupations.
The employment growth in this occupation reflects the expected number of industrial, commercial, and residential structures that will be built over the projection decade. It also reflects the continuing need to install and maintain energy-efficient air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems in the existing buildings.
Here is the Employment projections data for Sheet Metal Workers in the United States, 2021-31
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2021||Projected Employment, 2031||Change, 2021-31|
|Sheet metal workers||129,100||128,100||-1||-1,000|
How much does a sheet metal worker make?
The average salary of a sheet metal worker in India is Rs 200,000 per year. In the United States a sheet metal worker earns $64,027 per year. The sheet metal apprentice salary is usually less than the full-time sheet metal worker.
Here is the list of top paying companies for sheet metal workers in India.
- Tata Motors – Rs 1,80,000 per year.
- Godrej& Boyce – Rs 60,000 per year.
The top paying industry for sheet metal workers in India is given below.
- Defense & Aerospace – Rs 310,000 per year
- Industrial Machinery – Rs2,00,000 per year
- Auto Components — Rs1,80,000 per year
- Automobile — Rs 160,000 per year
- FMCG — Rs 60,000 per year
The life of a metal sheet worker is very rough and tough. So, you must be mentally and physically prepared to work like that in case you want to start your career as a metal sheet worker.