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FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)
Sheet Metal

Will this class help me to get into the sheet metal apprenticeship?

What are the wages I can expect to be paid once I become a Sheet Metal Worker?

Can I enroll while I am still in High School?

Will I get individualized training?

What are the personal requirements for success in this field?

How long does it take to complete the program?

Does this course have anything to do with HVAC?

Does this course have anything to do with Welding?

What are the general working conditions?

What is the employment outlook?

What is the nature of this kind of work?

Where could I be employed?

How and when can I start?

How do I know the course curriculum is relevant and applicable?

Will this class help me to get into the sheet metal apprenticeship?
Yes, our curriculum is designed to assist the student preparing for the apprenticeship written test and oral interview. The course work includes lay out and shop fabrication, along with supplemental shop math and introducing the student to spatial aptitude. The LBCC Sheet Metal Shop is located directly next to the Trades Career Technical Center. Students needing remedial work in math or just a refresher can register with the Tech Center and receive tutoring.

We also provide help to the students in developing their own personal "Sheet Metal Portfolio." This will include pictures and worksheets for all their shop projects, along with a resume, transcripts and other information which can be presented in the oral interview.

The Sheet Metal Program also sponsors, every semester, a field trip to the Los Angeles Sheet Metal Workers Apprentice Training Center in El Monte. There the students will tour a state of the art facility, meet with the training coordinators who will explain the application process, and have a chance to meet and interview current indentured apprentices in regards to apprentices feelings on their career choice, wages, benefits and working conditions.

What are the wages I can expect to be paid once I become a Sheet Metal Worker?
Earnings vary according to the type of work performed and the area of employment. There are differences between non-union and union wages as well. Generally speaking, one can expect to earn $8.00 to $ 30.00 per hour plus limited benefits in the non-union segment of the industry, compared to $20 to $39.00 plus an excellent benefit package and future training opportunities with the union segment of the industry.

Can I enroll while I am still in High School?
Yes! High School students are welcomed to enroll in our night or late afternoon Sheet Metal Program and earn college credit while still in high school. The student must be 16 years old, have permission from parent or legal guardian and his/her high school principal. Admissions and Records

Will I get individualized training?
You bet! Though students are at various levels of training, Tim Shoemaker, Sheet Metal Instructor, has been in the industry for over 35 years and is committed to the productivity of well-trained entry-level candidates. Maximum student load in this program is 25. You may reach Tim at (562) 938-3051 or by email: tshoemaker@lbcc.edu. Tim and/or Robert Johnson, Instructor's Aide, will be happy to schedule an individual shop tour for interested students.

What are the personal requirements for success in this field?
Interested students should be in good physical condition and have mechanical and mathematical aptitude as well as good reading skills. Good eye-hand coordination, spatial and form perception, and manual dexterity also are important. These and many other skills will improve as the student progresses through this program.

How long does it take to complete the program?
It will take approximately 1 to 2 years. Beginning, Fall-2009 semester, we will offer three tracks for the student to choose from:

Sheet Metal Core Skills Certificate: 19 units
Sheet Metal Advanced Certificate: 31-32 units
Sheet Metal Associate Degree: Sheet Metal Core Skills Certificate or Sheet Metal Advanced Skills Certificate plus the general education requirements for an Associate Degree. (View the Curriculum Guide to obtain Associate Degree requirements.)

Does this course have anything to do with HVAC?
Yes, HVAC Technicians and Sheet Metal Mechanics (HVAC Installers) often work closely with one another in the industry. At Long Beach City College we encouraged sheet metal students to take a Basic Air-Conditioning class along with the Air-Conditioning students to enroll in Sheet Metal classes.

Does this course have anything to do with Welding?
Yes, Welding skills are very helpful when seeking a sheet metal related job. Both the Sheet Metal Certificates require a semester in Welding. The Welding courses are also offered at the PCC campus.

What are the general working conditions?
The Sheet Metal Mechanic is employed indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. This is typical of all construction-related occupations. They will be expected to use and maneuver ladders and scaffolding on the job site. At times, workers will be required to work in confined spaces installing various components. Unlike most trades, shop fabrication jobs avail for steady indoor working conditions.

What is the employment outlook?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a shortage of skilled trade persons as we enter into the 21st century. Sheet Metal as well as other trade related fields has a bright outlook for persons that are willing to commit to the educational time needed to become skilled and in demand. Sheet metal workers held about 205,000 jobs in 2002.

What is the nature of this kind of work?
Sheet metal workers make, install, and maintain heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning duct systems; roofs; siding; rain gutters; downspouts; skylights; restaurant equipment; outdoor signs; railroad cars; tailgates; customized precision equipment; and many other products made from metal sheets. They also may work with fiberglass and plastic materials. Although some workers specialize in fabrication, installation, or maintenance, most do all three jobs.

Sheet metal workers first study plans and specifications to determine the kind and quantity of materials they will need. They then measure, cut, bend, shape, and fasten pieces of sheet metal to make ductwork, countertops, and other custom products. In an increasing number of shops, sheet metal workers use computerized metalworking equipment. This enables them to perform their tasks more quickly and to experiment with different layouts to find the one that will result in the least waste of material. They cut, drill, and form parts with computer-controlled saws, lasers, shears, plasma cutters and presses.

In shops without computerized equipment, and for products that cannot be made on such equipment, sheet metal workers use hand calculators to make the required calculations and use tapes, rulers, and other measuring devices for layout work. They then cut or stamp the parts on machine tools.

Some jobs are done completely at the jobsite. When installing a metal roof, for example, sheet metal workers measure and cut the roofing panels that are needed to complete the job. They secure the first panel in place and interlock and fasten the grooved edge of the next panel into the grooved edge of the first. Then, they nail or weld the free edge of the panel to the structure. This two-step process is repeated for each additional panel. Finally, the workers fasten machine-made molding at joints, along corners, and around windows and doors for a neat, finished effect.

In addition to installation, some sheet metal workers specialize in testing, balancing, adjusting, and servicing existing air-conditioning and ventilation systems to make sure they are functioning properly and to improve their energy efficiency. Properly installed duct systems are a key component to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, which causes duct installers to sometimes be referred to as HVAC Installers.

Sheet metal workers in manufacturing plants make sheet metal parts for products such as aircraft or industrial equipment. Although some of the fabrication techniques used in large-scale manufacturing are similar to those used in smaller shops, the work may be highly automated and repetitive. Sheet metal workers doing such work may be responsible for reprogramming the computer control systems of the equipment they operate.

Where could I be employed?
Nearly two-thirds of all sheet metal workers were found in the construction industry. Of those employed in construction, almost half worked for plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors; most of the rest worked for roofing and sheet metal contractors. Some worked for other special trade contractors and for general contractors engaged in residential and commercial building. One-quarter of all sheet metal workers work outside of construction and are found in manufacturing industries, such as the fabricated metal products, machinery, and aerospace products and parts industries. Some work for the Federal Government.

How and when can I start?
The Sheet Metal Program offers 18 week, Fall/Spring classes, both day and night. The Summer session is 6 weeks, four (4) mornings per week and starts the first week of June. The maximum class size is 25. (Web Registration (OLE)

How do I know the course curriculum is relevant and applicable?
Sheet Metal Program has been a cornerstone program at Long Beach City College for over 60 years, and continues to evolve to meet industry needs and changes. Our curriculum is based on industry input from the Long Beach City College Sheet Metal Advisory Committee. This group is made up of individuals from the Los Angeles/Orange County Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Local 105 and Southern California Sheet Metal Contractors. The advisory committee meets regularly to advise the LBCC Sheet Metal Faculty in regards to the skills and competencies needed to perform work on the job site as well as the shop atmosphere.

 

 

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