A Day in the Life of a Sheet Metal Worker (Engineering-Fabrication Trade)

Posted on March 14th, 2012

Sheet Metal Workers have a very challenging but highly rewarding occupation. The job requires physical strength and accuracy. The course offered in this industry is known as Engineering-Fabrication Trade. Anyone thinking about starting a career as a Sheet Metal Worker/ Engineering-Fabrication Trade should look into the apprenticeship training involved.
An apprenticeship helps to acquire knowledge and develop the necessary skills to become a tradesperson. It will introduce the learner with people making it in the industry and familiarises them with the workplace, skills, workload and techniques of the trade.

Basics of Sheet Metal Worker Apprenticeship

What is involved in a Sheet Metal Worker/ Engineering-Fabrication Trade Apprenticeship?

Generally, the apprenticeship is divided into two components: class-based study and on-the-job training. During classes, you will learn the daily tasks of a sheet metal worker, the skills you must develop and hone, common problems encountered, types of services rendered, and the like. During your on-the-job training, you will work like a normal employee. You will be given tasks with simple instructions and guided by a professional already making it in the industry. As your training progresses and skills develop, you will be given more complex and involved tasks.

Apprenticeships can take up to 4 years but can be completed faster if competency is reached sooner. Regardless of the duration, you will be working on the following tasks as a Sheet Metal Worker/ Engineering-Fabrication Trade Apprentice:

  • Analyse blueprints and plans to determine materials, tools, machines, and workforce needed
  • Select, prepare, and clean metal stock and tools
  • Create guide marks on metal for product manufacturing
  • Cut and form materials into products through methods such as slotting, grinding, welding, riveting, soldering, brazing, and using tools such as rollers, presses, and hammers
  • Operate machines for boring, milling, and shaping stock

A Sheet Metal Worker/ Engineering Fabrication Trade Apprentice needs to be keen on the tasks they are involved in. For this reason, only select people can be hired. Certain requirements that must be met include:

  1. General knowledge about the industry. You should have an understanding of the basic tasks that a sheet metal worker is involved.
  2. Physical fitness. As a sheet metal worker, you will be dealing with metal fabrications, machineries and other heavy equipment. You will also be working under pressure at times. For these reasons, you will need physical and mental strength.
  3. A strong interest for technical activities and programmable machines.
  4. Precision, patience, and safety-conscious. This is the foundation of metal sheet companies, and these are the virtues you must always have.
  5. Confidence to work alone and an ability to work in teams comfortably. These are all the traits a sheet metal worker must have to get apprenticeships and succeed in this field.

The construction and manufacturing industry is currently booming. If you want to guarantee future success, then Sheet Metal Worker/ Engineering-Fabrication Trade Apprenticeships are for you!