A career in sheet metal mechanics may appear challenging, but it’s much simpler than it may seem. Instead of working with heavy machinery or complex computer programs, sheet metal mechanics work with small pieces of metal and tools similar to those found at a craft center. Here is your guide to sheet metal mechanic jobs.
The job is also less dangerous than many people assume. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies sheet metal mechanics as being one of the safest jobs in the country at present.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what a career as a sheet metal mechanic entails. Read on to learn more about this rewarding field!
What Is a Metal Mechanic?
A metal mechanic specializes in installing, repairing, and maintaining metal components used in machinery and industrial settings. This may range from boilers, pressure vessels, and other large machines to heating, cooling, ventilation systems, drainage, and roofing applications that rely on metal components for strength and functionality.
A metal mechanic may also be responsible for welding metal together if a joint is faulty or broken. They use tools to cut, bend and weld metal pieces together. Metal mechanics work mostly indoors in factories or industrial plants.
They often work on teams with other mechanics. Their job is to make sure the machines run smoothly. Then, they inspect, repair, and replace parts as needed.
What Are the Duties of a Sheet Metal Worker?
Sheet metal workers are found at construction sites, metal shops or manufacturing facilities. A sheet metal worker can be skilled in fabrication, installation, maintenance or all three.
Sheet metal workers use specialized equipment to cut, shape, and weld metal sheets. Doing this creates a diverse range of products for both industrial and commercial use.
An employee in the sheet metal trade must measure, design, and manufacture things using suitable materials and equipment. First, the worker uses measuring tools and devices to measure the metal according to the plans. Afterward, the worker cuts the metal using specific cutting devices.
Handwork or computer-operated equipment may be used to cut the metal. After cutting, the metal is bent if needed.
Before assembly, workers use measuring instruments. Screws, rivets, bolts, and welds affix all the parts together to form the entire product or item.
The parts are installed at the construction site. Next, workers do more assembly work by joining smaller materials and pieces if necessary. Next, the pieces are set down in place.
They adjust and ensure equipment is correctly and safely installed. Some things are made on-site, installed or bolted.
Sheet metal workers also perform regular maintenance services for HVAC systems to ensure they function well. For example, if an air conditioning system requires repair, workers use hammers, drills and other tools to fix it. Then, they test and adjust it to ensure it works properly.
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Sheet Metal Mechanic Salary in California
The average annual salary for a union metal worker in California is around $43,500, with top earners making over $63,000 annually. But the amount you can earn in this occupation depends on your experience and where you work.
Non-union sheet metal workers earn a median annual salary of $38,000 in California. Generally, the more experience a sheet metal worker has, the higher their pay will be.
Advancement in this field often depends on training courses, obtaining certifications and the amount of related work experience. Some employers offer paid apprenticeships to new hires who want to start out with on-the-job experience. Others offer paid training programs.
Is Sheet Metal in Demand?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for sheet metal workers will increase by 4% between 2020 and 2030. As a result, sheet metal workers can expect strong demand for their services throughout the country.
There is high demand for sheet metal installation services. Many contractors are experiencing difficulty finding skilled workers to do this work.
In addition to installation work, there are also opportunities in fabrication. However, it is essential to note that not all areas of the country are experiencing the same level of demand for sheet metal workers.
Responsibilities of a Sheet Metal Mechanic
The responsibilities of a sheet metal mechanic vary depending on the organization. This job may involve fabricating and installing products. Inspecting, testing products and administrating a work area are other duties.
The primary responsibility of any sheet metal mechanic is to install and fabricate products made of sheet metal. This work varies widely and includes installing and fabricating ductwork, roofs, exhaust systems, and other products made of sheet metal.
Some sheet metal mechanic jobs specialize in installation, while others specialize in fabrication. Some tools sheet metal mechanics use include shears, hammers and snips. Sheet metal mechanics may require specialized materials like roofing shingles and roofing.
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Are You Ready for a Career Switch?
One of the best ways to become a sheet metal mechanic is to get your associate’s degree in sheet metal technology. You can then progress to a bachelor’s degree, which can be obtained in either 2 or 4 years, depending on the program.
You can also try to start your career as a journeyman sheet metal worker by getting training through an apprenticeship program. It’s also important to note that while you won’t need a degree to work in other industries as a sheet metal worker, having a few years of experience is helpful.
So, it’s possible to begin your career without a specialized degree. Consider looking at sheet metal mechanic jobs. Contact us to apply for Sheet Metal Mechanics positions and receive the benefits you deserve.