Sheet Metal Worker


Job Trends

 Sheet metal worker is rated as having a slower than-average job growth of 3 to 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. Total projected job openings are 51,700. A solar fabrication technician builds large. These technicians do not work on residential structures and do not do any of the wiring involved in setting up the solar panel arrays. Metal steel, copper sheet metal, tubing, and pipefittings are typical materials used in the job.

  • Solar collector arrays. As the solar power industry grows, the need for skilled workers for this occupation should also grow.

  • Drill and punch holes in metal, for screws, bolts, and rivets.

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)

  • Fasten seams and joints together 2400 Central Avenue

  •  Fabricate or alter parts at construction sites Suite A
  • Maintain equipment, making repairs and Boulder, Colorado 80301 modifications when necessary 303-443-3130
  • Transport prefabricated parts to construction sites for assembly and Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl installation

  •  Develop and lay out patters that (FMA) use materials most efficiently, using computerized metalworking equipment to experiment with different layouts.
  • Inspect individual parts, assemblies, and installation for conformance to Sheet Metal Workers International Association specifications and building codes (SMWIA)

Becoming a solar fabrication technician typically requires work experience in the building trades or some type of formal training. Experienced fabricators may advance to supervisory jobs. In time, they may become building inspectors on job sites or quality control inspectors within manufacturing plants. They may also go into business for themselves as solar installation contractors.

Earning Potential

Median hourly wage (2009): $19.54 Suite 400

Median annual wage (2009): $40,640 202-682-0556


Typically, a high school dip4oma or equivalent is required for entry-level workers. Individuals new to solar panel fabrication typically have construction training and work experience. They may be graduates of a vocational or technical school or an on-the-job apprenticeship.

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl (FMA) offers a Precision Sheet Metal Operator (PSMO) Certificate. FMA also offers online webinars and courses.