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Career and Education Opportunities for Sheet Metal Workers in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for sheet metal workers. Currently, 3,520 people work as sheet metal workers in Oregon. This is expected to grow 15% to about 4,030 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for sheet metal workers, which 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.

Sheet metal workers earn about $22 hourly or $45,750 per year on average in Oregon and about $19 hourly or $40,290 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Metal Working and Welding, people working as sheet metal workers in Oregon earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Metal Working and Welding nationally.

The Portland area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a sheet metal worker. Sheet metal workers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.