What Does a Sheet Metal Mechanic Do?
An aviation sheet metal mechanic installs, repairs, and replaces the sheet metal components of an aircraft, including various structural assemblies and sub-assemblies. Sheet metal mechanics perform complex structural repairs to keep aircraft up to specifications. Also, sheet metal mechanics fabricate replacement parts for aircraft as needed.
Repairing the structural assemblies of an aircraft is complicated work, so sheet metal mechanics must understand aircraft repair manuals, blueprints, and engineering documents. Also, sheet metal mechanics need to know how to properly use, handle, and dispose of hazardous materials during their work. A sheet metal mechanic should also have a knowledge of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) quality specifications, collaborate with inspectors, and ensure all work complies with guidelines and regulations.
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National Average Salary
Sheet metal mechanic salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Sheet Metal Mechanic is:
Sheet Metal Mechanic Job Descriptions
What you’ll do
- Select gauge and type of sheet metal according to SMACNA
- Locate and mark dimensions per plans, specifications, and shop drawings
- Fabricate duct onsite to include miter and alterations to shop fabricated duct
- Use hand tools and portable power tools in the installation of joints of duct such as slide and drive, TDF, snap lock, and other assemblies as required
- Lay out openings and coordinate with other trades
- Inspects assemblies and installation for conformance with job requirements and industry standards
- Erect and install equipment such as air handling units, VAV boxes, fan power boxes, and others as required
- Loads and unloads construction materials from trucks and into buildings
- Maintains good housekeeping and a safe work area (including company vehicle)
- Works safely, encourages others to do so, and complies with applicable health and safety-related rules, regulations, and procedures
What we’re looking for
- Experience with layouts and the ability to read and work from drawings
- Ability to direct the work of a helper or apprentice
- Safety-minded and knowledgeable of OSHA safety regulations
- Knowledge of basic construction/shop math
- Positive attitude and willingness to work in a team environment
- Ability to work without direct supervision
- A reliable source of transportation to and from work
This position is responsible for manufacturing complex parts from blueprints and drawings, editing programs, and setting up machines with general knowledge of Mil Standards and the material finishing process.
- Set and operate fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal, shaping metal
- Program/operate a water jet and press the brake
- Perform shop inspection of all fabricated pieces to insure parts meet engineered drawing specifications
- Utilize calipers, height gages, and other measuring equipment as needed to meet drawing specifications
- Operate drill presses and hand tools such as grinders, orbital sanders, etc.
- Interpret blueprints and drawings, follow technical guides
- Ensure shop equipment is maintained and serviceable
- Classify metals
- Cut sheet-metal
- Perform shop mathematics
- Hand and machine form parts
- Other duties as assigned
- Must be capable of performing tasks that frequently require: lifting, reaching, bending, walking, pulling, sitting, standing, crouching, stooping, and kneeling for prolonged periods of time
- Use special test equipment and tools
- Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals
- Interpersonal skills are necessary to work effectively and cooperatively with all levels of management and staff. Will also routinely interact with external contacts such as customers, vendors, suppliers, shipping companies, etc. Must represent ABC Company, Inc. in a professional manner at all times
- Must be trustworthy – will handle confidential information routinely
- Possess strong oral and technical written communication skills to communicate information clearly
- Strong decision analysis and problem-solving skills; ability to draw conclusions and justify decisions
- Ability to perform basic mathematical computations
- A high degree of self-motivation and the ability to work independently
- Ability to multitask
- Knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within the field required
- High School Diploma or Equivalent with 10 years of previous experience
- Familiarity with military hand tools and assembly standards
- Ability to pass a drug and background screening
- Must have the ability to obtain and maintain a Government Security Clearance
As a Sheetmetal Mechanics/Fitters you will plan, layout, fabricate, assemble, install, and repair sheet metal parts for the repair and modernization of US Navy vessels. Utilize equipment including hand tools, power tools, machines, and equipment. Sets up and operates fabricating machines, such as shears, brakes, presses, forming rolls, and routers to cut, bend, lock, form, or straighten materials. Trims, files, grinds, deburrs, buffs, and smooths surfaces using hand tools and portable power tools. Welds, solders, bolts, rivets, screws, clips, caulks, or bond component parts to assemble products, using hand tools, power tools, and equipment. Inspects assemblies and installation for conformance to specification. May install furniture such as air-conditioning and heating, ventilation ducting, cabinets, shelves, and other equipment on board ships. Performs related tasks as assigned, some of which may become essential to the position.
Experience and skills
- Minimum 1+ years of Sheet metal Fitting or Mechanic experience
- Must understand the layout of the ship and compartment identification
- Basic reading, writing, and math skills required
- Capable of using hand and power tools safely and efficiently
- Must be able to read and interpret blueprints and military specifications
- Must be able to obtain and maintain a Rapid Gate pass.
- Candidates may be required to travel to different BAE sites or Naval Bases
- Must be able to use hand tools and power tools safely and efficiently
- Must be flexible to working all shifts (1st, 2nd, and 3rd)
- Must have own tools
- Must be able to obtain and maintain a Defense Biometric Identification System “DBIDS” Access card
- Must be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the position
- Successfully pass BAE Systems Drug and alcohol screening
- Ability to accomplish Sheetmetal fabrication/installation processes in shop and shipboard environments
- Must be able to work at heights and in confined spaces and have the ability to climb staircases and ladders of varying sizes.
- Must be able to lift/carry 20-25 lbs. on a daily basis
- May install furniture on board ships such as 60-pound doors and 50-pound desks
- Shipyard Repair experience
How to Hire a Sheet Metal Mechanic
When hiring a sheet metal mechanic, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a sheet metal mechanic opening:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why do you want to work at this company?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- What skills do you possess that help you excel in this position?
- Describe your work ethic.
- What sheet metal equipment are you experienced with?
- Tell me about the recent projects that you have worked on.
- What is the most challenging project you have worked on as a sheet metal mechanic?
- Tell me something interesting about you that isn’t on your resume. How will that bring value to our company?
- How well do you work under pressure?
- What is the most difficult aspect of being a metal mechanic?
- What type of training would help you better succeed in your role?
- Walk me through a time you had taken charge of a project where you had to manage time effectively.
- What is one of your biggest accomplishments?
- How experienced are you with reading and creating blueprints and schematic drawings?
- How did you become interested in becoming a sheet metal mechanic?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Do you have any problems with working overtime?