Employment of sheet metal workers is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth reflects more industrial, commercial, and residential structures expected to be built over the coming decade. It also reflects the need to install energy-efficient air-conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems in older buildings and to renovate and maintain these systems.
Sheet metal workers in manufacturing are expected to experience faster-than-average employment growth as small amounts of work that used to be done in other countries returns to the United States.
Job opportunities should be particularly good for sheet metal workers who complete apprenticeship training or who are certified welders.
Some manufacturing companies report having difficulty finding qualified applicants. Workers who have programming skills, possess multiple welding skills, and show commitment to their work will have the best job opportunities.
Employment of 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.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition