To work as a sheet metal worker, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete an apprenticeship program.
Education after high school
Most sheet metal workers learn their skills through apprenticeship training programs. Union and non-union apprenticeship programs are available. Admission to apprenticeship programs is competitive. To apply for an apprenticeship, you must:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- be at least 18 years old; and
- be in good physical condition.
Apprenticeship programs usually consist of four years of on-the-job training. You are paid for the time you spend on the job. In addition, each year you receive at least 144 hours of classroom training.
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities in your area, consult the US Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
Some sheet metal workers learn their skills informally on the job. In this case, you begin working as a helper and learn skills from an experienced worker. As you gain experience, you learn to cut, bend, and install sheet metal. This type of training takes years to complete.
Some branches of the military train people to be welders and metal workers. Training lasts four to 15 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.