Employment of sheet metal workers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth reflects an expected increase in the number of industrial, commercial, and residential structures that will be built over the coming decade. It also reflects the continuing need to install and maintain energy-efficient air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems in existing buildings.
Sheet metal workers in architectural and structural metals manufacturing are expected to experience 11 percent employment growth from 2014 to 2024, as domestic manufacturing expands.
Overall job opportunities should be very good due to job growth and replacement needs. Job prospects should be particularly good for sheet metal workers who complete apprenticeship training or who are certified welders. Workers with military service experience are viewed favorably during initial hiring.
Some manufacturing companies report having difficulty finding qualified applicants. Workers who program equipment, possess multiple welding certifications, and show commitment to their work will have the best job opportunities.
Employment of construction sheet metal workers, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the one hand, workers in these trades may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, peak periods of building activity may produce shortages of sheet metal workers.
Sheet Metal Workers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Construction trades workers
Sheet metal workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program