Sheet metal workers install, make, and maintain heating, air-conditioning duct systems and ventilation, siding, roofs, downspouts, rain gutters, restaurant equipments, skylights, rail-road cars, outdoor signs, customized precision equipments, tailgates, and a variety of products made from metal sheets.
Sheet metal workers also work with plastic and fiberglass materials. However, some workers specialize in installation, fabrication, or maintenance. Sheet metal workers do mass production of sheet metal products in manufacturing companies. They also do construction related works.
Usually, sheet material workers first study specifications and then plan to determine the type of quality materials they need. Subsequently, they cut, measure, shape, bend, and fasten pieces of sheet metal to make counter tops, ductwork, and other custom products. In large manufacturing, sheet metal workers use computer equipment to execute their tasks more quickly and to make a variety of layouts to find the one, which wastes the least material.
Some shops are not equipped with computerized facilities. Sheet metal workers, in this condition, make the required calculations and use rulers, tapes, and other measuring devices to execute layout work. Consequently, they stamp or cut the parts on the machine tools.
A sheet metal worker has to check each part of the material for accuracy before they assemble pieces. These workers assess the material parts using measuring instruments such as micrometers, calipers, finish pieces using hand, hacksaws, squaring shears, and rotary. After examining the pieces, metal sheet workers fasten seams and connect together with bolts, welds, rivets, cement, solder, sheet metal drive clips, and other connecting devices.
After completing the above-discussed tasks, sheet metal workers take the ready parts of materials to construction sites where they assemble the pieces as they install them. Sheet metal workers install pipes, ducts, and tubes by connecting them end to end and hanging them with the help of metal hangers secured to wall or ceiling.
Sheet metal workers use hammers, shears, drills, and punches to make parts at the construction site. They also alter and modify the parts made in the shop. Normally, most of the works are done entirely at the job site. While installing a metal roof, for instance, sheet metal workers, generally, cut and measure the roofing panels on work site.
Some of the metal workers specialized in balancing, testing, servicing and adjusting existing air-conditioning and ventilation systems to ensure they are working properly and to develop their energy efficiency. Most probably, installed duct systems are key section to ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems. At times, duct installers are called HVAC Technicians. An increasing activity for sheet metal workers is building commissioning that is the complete mechanical assessment of a building's HVAC, lighting, and water systems.
In large manufacturing plants, sheet metal workers make sheet metal sections for products like aircraft and other industrial equipments. Some fabrication techniques employed in large manufacturing plants are similar to those used in small shops. The work may be highly repetitive and automated. Sheet metal workers performing such work may be accountable for reprogramming the computer control systems of the equipments they use.
Metal sheet workers, usually, work forty hours a week. Fabricate sheet workers perform their tasks in well-ventilated and well-lighted shops. Nonetheless, they have to stand for long hours, finished pieces, and lift heavy materials. Sheet metal worker have to follow safety rules as working with speed machines may be dangerous. They are subject to burn from welding and soldering, cuts from sharp metal, and fall from scaffolds and ladders.
Sheet metal workers need to wear safety glasses and should not wear loose-fitting clothing that may be easily caught in a machine. They also do not wear jewelry while working on the machine. Sheet metal workers may work at a variety of production stations to lessen the repetitive kind of tasks.
Sheet metal workers performing installation work do significant standing, blending, squatting, and climbing. These workers perform their tasks in indoors as well as outdoor. The installation of roofs, siding, and gutters are involved in outdoor works whereas kitchen equipments and duct systems come under indoors works. A sheet metal worker has to carry out following responsibilities.
To become expert sheet metal worker, candidates must get a five-year classroom as well as on-the-job training experience. This training begins in high school where classes in algebra, English, geometry, mechanical drawing, physics, general shop, and blue print reading are recommended. Upon completing high school education along with ample experience, candidates get into this field easily.