A Job or a Career?


A CAREER
with the Sheet Metal Industry

Provides a salary that will increase
Gives you many opportunities to grow
Offers a wide-ranging network of contacts
Tests your ability to think and learn
Challenges your skills
Opens doors to many opportunities
Offers industry-recognized comprehensive education and training
Offers insurance, pension, paid vacations, and industry-assisted training
Offers opportunities for travel
Provides many opportunities to contribute to the industry and to your community
Provides many opportunities for a second career in the industry

Looking for more than just a job?

Keep reading to learn how you can get started with a career in sheet metal.


Step One

Find the training center closest to you and request information on applying for an apprenticeship.

Step Two

Apply for the apprenticeship program. Application requirements vary by state and you may need to go through an interview process in addition to applying. Once you’re been accepted, you’ll begin training in the exciting, diverse, and challenging sheet metal industry. Get ready.

Step Three

You are enrolled as a first-year apprentice. Work hard. Study hard. On the job, you will be working with journeymen who have been through the same training as you. Watch what they do. Listen to what they say. Learn how to use your tools. Learn to be safe on the job. Be on time for the job and ready to work every day. You will be earning a good wage and important benefits, such as health care coverage and contributions to a pension. In the classroom, you’ll work with the same tools you see on the job. Your classroom work, books and materials will reinforce your experience on the job and vice versa. Like any education experience, the more you put into this training, the more you’ll get back.

Step Four

Spend some time analyzing what specialties interest you the most.

  • Commerical HVAC
  • Architectural Sheet Metal
  • Detailing
  • Service & Refrigeration
  • Testing Adjusting & Balancing
  • Residential HVAC
  • Sign Industry
  • Industrial/Welding
  • Roofing

Your initial training will cover these specialties as options and give you some rough ideas of the various skills and demands involved. Your instructors and JATC coordinator will work with you to review your choices. Once you choose your specialty, you will begin intense training in that area of expertise, but you may also take classes covering each of the others.

Step Five

In the final two or three years of your training, you will begin the most important phase of your education. The JATC will make every effort to assign you to a company that works in your chosen specialty to make sure you get the most out of your on-the-job experience. Just like all the other steps along the way, you should work hard, study hard, listen and learn. Everyone on the job—the journeymen, supervisors, site manager and company management—want you to succeed. If you need help, all you have to do is ask.

Step Six

Get ready to discover, commit, and contribute to the world around you as you take your oat to become a journeyman. The education and training you’ve received to date makes you perfectly prepared to be a productive, efficient, skilled trade worker from your first day on the job but your education never ends. In the years ahead, you’ll get plenty of opportunities for advanced continuing education, specialty certifications and new technologies. Take advantage of those opportunities. You’ll be doing valuable work that will make a difference in your community and you can be proud of. You can stop here, or you can go on...

Step Seven

The experience you’ve gained, coupled with your ITI training, equips you with the foundation to accept new responsibilities and enjoy the added rewards that go with that responsibility. Can you be a leader? A problem solver? Are you ready to think strategically? As an apprentice, your studies covered these areas, along with some principles of business and management. If you seek additional training or even certification in supervisory skills, step up to the plate. Here’s your opportunity.

Step Eight

Becoming your own boss. This step is not for everyone. There are plenty of risks, but even more rewards. You’ve got to be ready for the pressure and the stress of meeting a payroll, being responsible for a team of skilled people, taking on projects and meeting deadlines. If running your own company is something you’re ready to do, you’ll find the sheet metal industry to be a challenging and growing field. Even though you may be competing with many of the men and women you’ve worked with over the years, you will find they’re ready and willing to work with you to get established. There is plenty of work around for companies that play fair, work hard and satisfy their customers. As an owner, you’ll be a respected member of the business community. You will find your ITI training an invaluable resource not only in understanding how a job gets done, but also in how our industry can add value for the entire community.