SHEET METAL & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE TECHNICIAN (EST)
The sheet metal trade is one of the most demanding of all the skilled trades.
The majority of sheet metal workers are employed in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning) industry, where they fabricate, install, and maintain HVAC systems. Many other sheet metal workers are employed in specialty areas such as kitchen equipment, sign work, metal decking and siding, heavy metal work and blowpipe, ornamental and decorative sheet metal, and architectural work such as copper work, rain protection systems, and skylights.
Sheet Metal EST’s (Environmental Service Technicians) are involved in the service and maintenance of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings.
A Sheet Metal worker and EST must possess a high degree of skill and training, which translates into high wages, good benefits and steady employment.
Training is attained through participation in a five year of not less than 9,000 hour apprenticeship training program, which consists of a combination of on the job training and related day and evening classroom instruction. As the apprentice advances through the apprenticeship program, he/she receives periodic pay increases. Upon completion of the program, the apprentice becomes a “journeyman” and receives the full journeyman’s rate.
The apprentice has an opportunity to develop skills through training in subjects such as measuring, layout, fabrication, mathematics, drafting, welding, blueprint reading, heating and air conditioning service work, control systems, and air balancing.
This training is supervised by a concerned and progressive thinking coalition of Management and Union Labor called the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC), which recognizes the necessity of having a well informed and well trained work force.
Sheet Metal & EST work is demanding, yet rewarding. Due to the varied nature of the work, there are many career options available within the sheet metal trade, from field installation, shop layout, welding and service work, to drafting, estimating and energy management. Trained sheet metal journeymen may go on to become foremen or supervisors or maybe even run their own shop someday.