Sheet Metal Institute

Career Information

What does a Sheet Metal Worker Do?


The sheet metal trade is one of the most varied and diversified of all the skilled trades.  As a union sheet metal worker, you will belong to a skilled, technical craft that works with other building tradespeople to construct commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.

You’ll be part of creating something that is long lasting and enhances the quality of life for many people.

Sheet metal workers use sheet metal for roofs, rain gutters, siding, ventilation, heating and air-conditioning duct systems. They also assist in the development of restaurant equipment, automobiles, customized precision equipment, outdoor signs, handrails, column wraps, and many other products that are made from metal. They work with plastic and fiberglass materials. They read plans and determine the type and amount of materials and then measure, bend, cut, shape, and attach pieces of sheet metal to make the products. They check the products for accuracy and perform any necessary adjustments.

​Sheet metal workers are skilled in projects involving heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) of commercial buildings and private homes, including indoor air quality, energy management, service and repairs.  Sheet metal workers are trained in the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing of mechanical systems as well as servicing them.


Is Sheet Metal Work right for you? Watch this video for info that might help you decide.

Sheet metal workers work in both the field and in the shop utilizing mathematics and pattern layout development methods. They cut, bend, and shape sheets of metal. They use specialized fastening devices such as bolts, rivets, screws and solder. Sheet metal workers use hand and power tools and equipment including shears, breaks, punches and forming presses, edging and crimping machines, hammers, grinders, etc.