Sheet Metal Worker: North and South Dakota

Other locations:
Metro Area
Central Minnesota
Duluth / Iron Range

Job description

sheet metalIn spite of technological changes, the Sheet Metal Worker remains nearly the only building tradesperson to start with raw materials, custom-make complex systems, and then install them. He/she can transform flat sheets of metal into any size or shape that is required by working from a blueprint or verbal instructions. Being a Sheet Metal Worker involves the fabrication, erection, installation, repairing, replacing and servicing of all residential heating and air conditioning systems and the architectural sheet metal work on such residences.

Workers will gain a knowledge of heating, cooling and ventilation systems; techniques of welding, and the functions of compressors and condensers in the refrigeration cycle. Includes areas such as solar installation, hoisting and rigging, soldering, and energy management and retrofitting of environmental systems.

The three main concepts used for making sheet metal patterns require knowledge of triangulation, radial line and parallel line development.

Most people consider the term "air conditioning" to merely imply cooling the air. But air conditioning is much more comprehensive when the term "conditioning the air" is used. Sheet Metal Workers help provide these types of systems that heat, cool, and ventilate--providing a completely controlled environment.

The rapidly expanding use of new materials and processes in manufacturing plants throughout the nation today is presenting new health hazards at an alarming rate. The Sheet Metal Workers also helps provide systems that will safely remove fumes, dust, smoke, heat, odors, carbon dioxide and other dangerous contaminants to combat this situation.

Sheet Metal Workers also have an important role in making the large amount of sheet metal work that goes into sign making, hospital and restaurant equipment, aircraft and shipbuilding. In addition, the knowledge and skill of the Sheet Metal Worker is needed by other industries in products requiring sheet metal work.

A booklet can be requested by contacting the Coordinator.

Apprenticeship program

Applications for apprenticeship are taken year-round, by writing, calling, or emailing as follows:

Attention: Denise Simpson
Sheet Metal Workers JATC of N&S Dakota
Metro Training Center
3554 White Bear Ave. N
White Bear Lake, MN 55110-5419
(651) 779-6264
FAX (651) 779-6065

Apprenticeship classes may be taken in Bismarck, North Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; or Rapid City, South Dakota. These day school classes are held two days per weekend on Fridays and Saturdays, approximately once or twice per month, for a duration of 6 to 7 months. The International Training Institute and the JATC, with the requirement that the apprentice signs a Scholarship Loan Agreement, incur the cost of training.

Program includes 8,000 hours (approximately 4 years) of on-the- job training and about 192 hours of related instruction each year.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must be a high school graduate or possess a Certificate of Equivalency (GED).
  • While it is not required that an applicant be a graduate of or have attended a sheet metal program from a technical vocational institute, consideration will be given in the selection process for such graduation and/or attendance.
  • Must possess the physical ability to perform the duties of the craft.
  • Apprenticeship applicants shall furnish the following along with their application:
    1. Birth certificate or reliable information on DOB.
    2. High school diploma or GED certificate.
    3. High school transcript showing grades and attendance.
    4. Post-high school diploma(s), certificates, and/or transcripts, if applicable.
    5. Military discharge and Form DD-214, if applicable.
    6. A physical examination may be required prior to the indenturing of an apprentice.

Selection procedures

The Joint Apprenticeship Committee will send out notifications informing applicants when and where to report for their interview.

Applicant must be able to score 70% on the test in order to be interviewed or rated. The Joint Apprenticeship Committee will then send out notifications informing applicants when and where to report for their interview. The Committee members will be rating the qualified applicant(s) on a point value at the time of the interview, which will be based on the following categories:

Aptitude Test
Work Experience

The placement of apprentices will be in descending order of score. This list will be turned over to the union.

There is a probationary period of not more than two thousand (2,000) work hours or the candidate will be terminated from employment and considered ineligible for the apprenticeship program.

More Information

Tools Needed

Workers need to provide themselves with their own hand tools (such as a screw driver, prick punch, dividers, crescent wrench, a small whitney, center punches, pliers, hammers, etc.). Costs run around $600.

Transportation Requirements

Workers are expected to be able to get to the job on time. The union represents many shops outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Thus, workers are sometimes required to move around.


In the winter, the hours are generally from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. During the summer, the hours vary, with 8-hour days anywhere between 6:00 AM and 4:30 PM.


Apprentices start at 50 to 60 percent of the wage earned by a journeyperson depending on the area he/she is working in. He/she will receive increases of 5% every 1,000 hours worked until reaching journeyperson's rate.

Union Dues

The initiation fee comes to a total of $1,500. This is usually paid within a couple of years, and must be paid in full before an apprentice becomes a full-fledged journeyperson. Part of the apprentice's monthly dues goes towards paying that fee. There are also monthly membership dues

Contact Us

North & South Dakota Sheet Metal Workers
Local 10

Metro Training Center
3554 White Bear Ave. N.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110-5419
(651) 779-6265
Fax (651) 779-6065

Business Manager
Jim Bowman

Apprenticeship Coordinators
Ron Ohlsen,
North Dakota area
(701) 255-2824

Mark J. Rogers,
South Dakota area
(605) 331-6999