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Career and Education Opportunities for Sheet Metal Workers in Wichita, Kansas

There are many career and education opportunities for sheet metal workers in the Wichita, Kansas area. The national trend for sheet metal workers sees this job pool growing by about 6.5% over the next eight years. In general, sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, and furnace casings.

The income of a sheet metal worker is about $22 per hour or $46,640 annually on average in Kansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 hourly or $40,290 annually on average. Sheet metal workers earn more than people working in the category of Metal Working and Welding generally in Kansas and less than people in the Metal Working and Welding category nationally.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Wichita area, including one within twenty-five miles of Wichita where you can get a degree to start your career as a sheet metal worker. Given that the most common education level for sheet metal workers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a sheet metal worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sheet Metal Worker

Sheet Metal Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, and furnace casings. They also work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks, or forms using hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; inspecting, assembling, and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces.

Sheet metal workers drill and punch holes in metal for screws, bolts, and rivets. They also lay out and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, in line with drawings or templates, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, and rulers. Equally important, sheet metal workers have to fasten seams and joints together with welds, bolts, cement, rivets, solder, caulks, metal drive clips, and bonds to assemble components into products or to repair sheet metal items. They are often called upon to decide on project requirements and required methods and materials, in line with blueprints and written or verbal instructions. They are expected to set up assemblies, such as flashing, pipes, tubes, heating and air conditioning ducts and down spouts, in supportive frameworks. Finally, sheet metal workers fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, and drills.

Every day, sheet metal workers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they prioritize information for further consideration.

It is important for sheet metal workers to maneuver completed units into position for installation, and anchor the units. They are often called upon to shape metal material over anvils or other forms, using hand tools. They also finish parts, using hacksaws, and hand, rotary, or squaring shears. They are sometimes expected to transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and installation. Somewhat less frequently, sheet metal workers are also expected to lay out and mark dimensions and reference lines on material, such as roofing panels, in line with drawings or templates, using calculators, scribes, dividers, squares, and rulers.

Sheet metal workers sometimes are asked to convert blueprints into shop drawings to be followed in the construction and assembly of sheet metal products. They also have to be able to fasten roof panel edges and machine-made molding to structures, nailing or welding pieces into position And finally, they sometimes have to fabricate or alter parts at construction sites, using shears, hammers, punches, and drills.

Like many other jobs, sheet metal workers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sheet Metal Worker Training

Wichita Area Technical College - Wichita, KS

Wichita Area Technical College, 301 South Grove, Wichita, KS 67211-2099. Wichita Area Technical College is a small college located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,842 students. Wichita Area Technical College has a less than one year program in Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking which graduated 279 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas photo by Pacoperez6

Wichita is located in Sedgwick County, Kansas. It has a population of over 366,046, which has grown by 6.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Wichita, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Wichita cost $106,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,012 new homes were constructed in Wichita, down from 1,248 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wichita are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.3% of Wichita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wichita is 8.8%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Wichita residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Mizpah Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Wichita. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Wichita is home to the Pleasant Valley and the Wichita Plaza as well as Hyde Park and Watson Park. Shopping centers in the area include Central Heights Shopping Mall, Airpark Shopping Center and Sweetbriar Shopping Center. Visitors to Wichita can choose from Afton Motel, Hampton Inn Wichita-East and Corral Motel for temporary stays in the area.