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How do I Become a Sheet Metal Worker?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2016
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A sheet metal worker is a vocation that takes several years of training and involves creating and installing objects made from thin panels of metal. To become a sheet metal worker, an individual must be prepared to work for four to five years which will consist of on-the-job training and possibly extra education in a community college. Fledgling sheet metal workers should expect to perform tasks such as helping more experienced workers during apprentice training. Workers generally must study geometry and mechanical drawing to have the required knowledge and skills.

Sheet metal workers are responsible for creating, installing, and maintaining manufacturing equipment made from metal sheets. To become a sheet metal worker, an individual has to have great attention to detail. The ability to take accurate measurements with instruments such as calipers and micrometers is a key aspect of this vocation.

Between four and five years of training is required to become a sheet metal worker. This will take the form of classroom training and work experience. Those who receive formalized training are likely to receive the best jobs. Persons interested in becoming a sheet metal worker should study topics such as physics, mechanical drawing, and geometry in secondary school.

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It is possible to receive training from a contractor once secondary school has been completed. This involves assisting more experienced sheet metal workers. Tasks such as carrying metal, cleaning debris from the floor, and becoming more more familiar with equipment are common. This will be followed by learning how to cut and bend metal.

After a certain period of time, new employees will move to the jobsite where they will learn skills such as installation. Those looking to become a sheet metal worker may also have to be willing to attend a community college for further training. There is a possibility that new employees can receive all the training and education they need on site, however.

There are also numerous apprenticeship programs available for those looking to become a sheet metal worker. It should be noted that such programs have different requirements depending on the area. One general prerequisite is to be at least 18 years of age.

Such programs usually combine classroom training with practical work experience. Apprentices can expect to spend several years on these programs before becoming fully qualified. Besides gaining skills relating to the manufacturing of metal materials, apprentices also learn health and safety regulations.

To become a sheet metal worker, it is necessary to develop excellent mathematical and reading skills. Good hand-eye coordination is required, and sheet metal workers must also be in prime physical condition. It is also helpful to study algebra, geometry, and trigonometry in school.

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