Sheet Metal MechanicJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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, a sheet metal mechanic needs 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, to collaborate with inspectors and ensure all work complies with guidelines and regulations.

Sample job description #1

What you will 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 coordinates 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 are 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 knowledge of OSHA safety regulations
  • Knowledge of basic construction/shop math
  • Positive attitude and willing to work in a team environment
  • Ability to work without direct supervision
  • A reliable source of transportation to and from work

Sample job description #2

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 material finishing process.

Essential functions

  • Set and operate fabricating machines to cut, bend, and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal
  • Program/operate a water jet and press 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, and 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 clearly communicate information
  • Strong decision analysis and problem solving skills; ability to draw conclusions and justify decisions
  • Ability to perform basic mathematical computations
  • 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 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

Sample job description #3

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, and 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 bonds 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

Physical requirements

  • 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 ship board environments
  • Must be able to work at heights, 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 ship such as 60 pound doors and 50 pound desks

Preferred qualifications

  • Shipyard Repair experience

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an aviation sheet metal mechanic is $51,250 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$54,650$74,000
Los Angeles, California$61,700$83,450
Denver, Colorado$51,450$69,550
Washington, DC$62,650$84,750
Miami, Florida$51,150$69,250
Orlando, Florida$47,200$63,850
Tampa, Florida$47,650$64,500
Atlanta, Georgia$50,000$67,650
Chicago, Illinois$57,500$77,750
Boston, Massachusetts$62,150$84,150
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$49,550$67,000
New York City, New York$65,450$88,550
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$53,250$72,100
Dallas, Texas$51,850$70,200
Houston, Texas$51,650$69,850
Seattle, Washington$59,850$80,950
National Average$46,750$63,250

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 helps 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?

Sheet Metal Mechanic Jobs in Ashburn

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