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Learn how to design, fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products required in various industries and settings.

If you desire a career where you will work with your hands and develop special skills, you'll enjoy working as a Sheet Metal Worker.

During your career, you will:

  • layout, measure and mark dimensions and reference lines on sheet metal according to drawings or templates
  • use laser or plasma cutting equipment, hand and power shears, snips and light metal-working equipment to cut, drill or punch, bend and shape sheet metal
  • fasten with bolts, screws, cement, rivets, adhesives, solder or by welding
  • install and repair sheet metal products and ensure installations conform to specifications and building codes
  • do metal cladding of insulated piping and equipment on industrial sites
  • manufacture and install flashing, coping for roofing applications and supply.
  • install, service and repair air handling equipment, furnaces, fans, air terminal devices and split system air conditioners.
  • install any gas appliance 400,000 BTUs and smaller, such as furnaces, hot water tanks, barbeques, stoves and garage heaters.

You will use many types of metal, including black and galvanized steel, copper, brass, nickel, stainless steel and aluminum, to make products such as:

  • pollution control systems, dust collecting and control systems, air-slide, grain spouting material blowing, and other air systems
  • heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems
  • solar heating and cooling systems and all integral equipment
  • metal showcases, display neon and metal sign equipment
  • metal cabinets, custom-built tables, counters and fixtures for hospitals, kitchen equipment and items for the foodservice and beverage industry
  • electrical panels and related equipment
  • dairy, brewery and laboratory equipment
  • metal shelving, lockers, window frames, metal doors and frames, toilet partitions
  • flashing, coping, troughing and roof drainage systems
  • custom or small-run fabrication of a variety of sheet metal items.

This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade, you must hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.

You will also be credited with a Gas - Class B license at the end of your training, allowing you to install and service all gas appliances 400,000 BTUs and under and install five-ton and under air conditioners.

Sheet metal workers are skilled tradespeople who like collaborating with others and working independently.

This line of work is most fulfilling for those who enjoy working with their hands in various environments and developing specialized skills.

To thrive in this career, it is important to have the following traits:

  • creative problem solvers
  • mechanical aptitude
  • good eye-hand coordination, spatial and form perception, good eyesight, strength and stamina to carry heavy tools and manual dexterity
  • the ability to visualize a finished product from a document
  • a good understanding of practical mathematics, geometry, and document reading
  • the ability to stand for long periods
  • patience, dependability and accuracy
  • the ability to work in a construction or shop environment
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • a commitment to safe working conditions

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and apprenticeship education periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

This is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.


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Careers and opportunities

Apprenticeship training

The term of apprenticeship for a sheet metal worker is four years (four 12-month periods), including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and ten weeks of classroom instruction each year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You will start by learning about safety, tools and equipment. You will then learn duct construction using simple and conical line pattern development, residential HVAC drawings and residential HVAC installation.

Training length: 10 weeks

Year 2 | Period 2

You will learn fabrication using parallel line pattern development, light commercial HVAC and HVAC heating appliance installation.

Training length: 10 weeks

Year 3 | Period 3

You will learn GTAW welding and plasma cutting, duct construction using triangulation pattern development, and commercial HVAC.

Training length: 10 weeks

Year 4 | Period 4

You will then learn advanced fabrication, commercial and industrial HVAC, refrigeration and diagnostics.

Training length: 10 weeks

Apprenticeship education performance

To succeed in apprenticeship education, you must pass each section of the course and the AIT exam.

The passing grade for each section in a course is 65%. A passing mark on each provincial exam and the interprovincial qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

View Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures


Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

Admission requirements

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements

Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 20-2
  • Math 20-3
  • Science 10


A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests


Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended requirements

Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 OR Chemistry 30 OR Science 30
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.


Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

How to register

Available intakes


2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023.

Domestic students

Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 10 $1,320 $337 $1,657
2 10 $1,320 $337 $1,657
3 10 $1,320 $337 $1,657
4 10 $1,320 $337 $1,657
Total cost:

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the Bookstore.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

A man crosses his arms over planks of wood and smiles at the camera.

Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Financial aid

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.


Have more questions?

Technical training at SAIT

School of Construction


Apprenticeship training and registration

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services