Do you enjoy working with your hands, understand spatial relationships and have a knack for problem-solving? Do you have above-average mechanical and math skills?
You may want to consider a rewarding career as a sheet metal worker!
The Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre Society – celebrating its 30th anniversary in October! – offers training and upgrading to help improve the vocational and safety skills of sheet metal workers. Participants become more employable through training that keeps pace with changes in technology through courses designed in response to industry needs.
A career as a sheet metal worker offers diverse work opportunities, including heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, roofing, restaurant, air pollution, marine installation and hospital equipment fields.
“We are a craft trade that takes raw materials and creates the items needed for almost every aspect of our lives,” explains the society’s head instructor Jake LeBlanc.
“It gives you the opportunity to be artistic in a way, through creativity and design.”
As an official apprenticeship training provider for B.C.’s registered sheet metal workers, the Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre Society is the only training facility in B.C. recognized both provincially by the Industry Training Authority, and Platinum Standard accredited internationally by the International Training Institute.
Apprenticeship training programs include the four-year Red Seal Sheet Metal Worker and three-year Architectural Sheet Metal Worker, as well as specialty training that includes:
- Welding – fundamentals of GMAW, GTAW and SMAW
- Stainless steel fabrication – Precision fabrication and welding
- AutoCAD – Computer drafting and designField Installation– Concepts of correctly and efficiently ordering product
- Blueprint Reading – Fundamental skills of plan and specification interpretation
- Fan Service – Repair and maintenance of air moving devices
- Lost skills – Working with copper using old world techniques
The society’s highly qualified instructors offer many years of on-the-job experience, and guide students in learning new skills needed to demonstrate quality workmanship and productivity in the sheet metal industry.
“There’s so much to learn because the scope of work is enormous, including niche jobs and lot of room for lateral movement,” LeBlanc says. “I’ve been in the industry 27 years and I still don’t know 50 per cent of the trade. I’m still learning every single day!”
Candidates interested in networking with their expansive contractor database must complete an application to the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board, on behalf of the Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local Union #280 and the British Columbia Sheet Metal Association contractors.
SMART Local Union #280 members enjoy better wages, better benefits, and increased job security.
“When I look back, I don’t regret a day of it,” LeBlanc says. “You can take care of your family making good money and receiving a pension and great health benefits.
“Working as a sheet metal worker has provided me with an outstanding life!”