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Sheet Metal Workers International Association



Local 263 is affiliated with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. Local 263 serves 200 trained journeypersons in eastern and central Iowa. The Apprenticeship program has been in existence since 1950.


Jason Farrington & Ryan Furnish

Sheet Metal Workers fabricate and install ducts that are used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning. They also fabricate and install a wide variety of other products made from light or thin galvanized metals such as siding, metal decks, paint ovens, and spray booths, gutters, flashing, and dust collecting systems. The trade also includes products made from heavy or thick metals which are welded (stainless steel, aluminum, black iron) column guards, conveyors, blow pipe systems, spouts, and many more items.

Most items are fabricated in the shop, then taken to the job site to be installed. Heating and air conditioning components are purchased, then fitted together with the air duct fabricated by members.


Sheet Metal Workers participate in a four-year (8,000 hours) apprenticeship program. In addition to the training received on the job, apprentices attend supplemental classroom training in subjects related to the trade. A minimum of 196 hours of such training is required during each year of apprenticeship.

Training received through the apprenticeship includes ventilation, air conditioners and controls, general sheet metal work. Hotel, restaurant kitchen equipment, architectural sheet metal work, industrial sheet metal work, warm-air furnace and heating equipment, electric sign construction, operation of hand tools and power machinery. Handling of special materials, specialty installation and specialty work. Computer & C.A.D., welding, drafting and textbooks are included in training.

Local 263 also has a residential three year training program consisting of on-the-job training and a minimum of 94 hours of supplemental classroom training similar to commercial applications but limited to a maximum of four story dwellings or single family dwellings.

All apprentices and journeypersons are licensed to install when required.

Apprentices receive a graduated wage scale during their term of training, beginning at 45% of a journeyperson's wages to 70% during their final year of training. They also receive such benefits as health and welfare insurance and a local and national pension plans

Residential Apprentices start at 50% of journeyperson’s wages; the second year 60%; and third year 90%.


Minimum requirements for an apprenticeship applicant include:

    * Must be a high school graduate or equivalent
    * Must have good school attendance
    * Must have background in reading and math
    * Must be a U.S. citizen or in the process of becoming one.
    * Construction work background helpful

A Sheet Metal Worker should have above average mechanical and mathematical ability. They also need hand-eye coordination, spatial and form perception, good eyesight and manual dexterity. An applicant to the apprenticeship program should like and have the ability for shop courses, mechanical drawing, and basic algebra. Assets in sheet metal work include patience, dependability, accuracy and an ability to get along well with others.


Approximately eight apprentices are enrolled each year.  Applications are accepted through the Local 263 Joint Apprenticeship Committee.

After submitting an application, the candidate will go through an interviewing process with the Joint Apprenticeship Committee. The Committee rates all qualified applicants and places potential candidates on a list according to rank order of scores. The Joint Apprenticeship Committee begins placement of apprenticeships based on need and demand in the area. 

Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local #263 • 1211 Wiley Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-1320
ph. (319) 396-8045; Fax (319) 396-4964   © 2010 All Rights Reserved
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