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Career and Education Opportunities for Sheet Metal Workers in Vancouver, Washington

Sheet metal worker career and educational opportunities abound in Vancouver, Washington. Currently, 4,880 people work as sheet metal workers in Washington. This is expected to grow 16% to about 5,640 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sheet metal workers are expected to grow by about 6.5%. In general, sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, and furnace casings.

Income for sheet metal workers is about $27 hourly or $57,610 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $40,290 yearly. Sheet metal workers earn more than people working in the category of Metal Working and Welding generally in Washington and less than people in the Metal Working and Welding category nationally.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree 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 training to become 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.