Sheetmetal Trades Workers
Sheetmetal Trades Workers mark out, shape, form and join sheetmetal and other materials to make products and components.
Specialisations: Metal Spinner, Sheetmetal Patternmaker.
Extensive experience or a certificate III in engineering - fabrication trade is needed to work as a Sheetmetal Trades Worker.
studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine job, material and equipment requirements
selecting metal stock, such as stainless steel, galvanised iron, mild steel, aluminium and copper, and checking sizes, gauges and other dimensions of metal stock against specifications
marking out metal stock with reference points and lines, using templates, gauges and other measuring instruments
cutting metal stock along guidelines using hand and power shears, guillotines and drills
shaping and forming cut metal stock into products using folding and bending machines, rollers, presses and hammers
fitting and assembling components into final products by welding, riveting, soldering, brazing and otherwise joining
finishing products by polishing, filing, sanding and cleaning assembled products
may repair damaged sheetmetal products and components
may specialise in fabrication, or on-site assembly and installation, of sheetmetal products
may produce aircraft sheet metal components requiring advanced drawing and calculating skills
may specialise in decorative copperwork
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 4,400 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 92% of people employed as Sheetmetal Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 26 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Median full-time earnings are $1,229 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,196
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,510
Median hourly earnings are $33, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Sheetmetal Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Sheetmetal Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 46% of Sheetmetal Trades Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Sheetmetal Trades Workers is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Sheetmetal Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Extensive experience or a certificate III in engineering - fabrication trade is needed to work as a Sheetmetal Trades Worker.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Sheetmetal Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||11.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Sheetmetal Trades Workers who are mature, reliable and are hard working with a good a work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Using maths to solve problems.
46%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Teaching people how to do something.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
41%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
39%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
39%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading work related information.
Fixing machines or systems.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
56%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
43%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
40%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
38%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
38%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
31%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
27%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
26%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
25%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
13%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
See details that are far away.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
80%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
76%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
63%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
61%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
59%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
57%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
56%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
56%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
54%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
54%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
53%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
51%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
48%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
46%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
44%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
43%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
43%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
38%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
97%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Talk with people face-to-face.
94%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
93%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
91%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Work with people in a group or team.
87%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
86%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
86%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
86%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work to strict deadlines.
79%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
79%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
77%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
77%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
76%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
75%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
75%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
74%Climbing ladders, scaffolds, or poles
Spend time climbing ladders, scaffolds, or poles.
74%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2211.00 - Sheet Metal Workers.