There are a variety of careers one can pursue in the HVAC industry. Some HVAC technicians are experts at replacing ductless mini splits in homes, some are experts in designing large-scale commercial systems, while others are experts in the installation of massive equipment like chillers and air handlers. There are HVAC mechanics who are the experts at creating the duct work that carries air throughout homes and buildings from giant sheets of metal.
These are sheet metal mechanics, and they are in high demand!
HVAC sheet metal mechanics design, fabricate and16 service duct work for the heating and cooling equipment in buildings. Apprentices can start without an ounce of knowledge and be set up for with a lifelong career within a few short years in an apprenticeship. Sheet metal apprenticeships allow young tradespeople to earn a living while developing new trade skills. These classes are taught by instructors with years of invaluable knowledge they are ready to bestow upon eager-to-learn students.
“I love a lot of things about my job. What I love most right now is being that mentor and being able to pass my knowledge on,” says Just Leary, Southern Air sheet metal foreman/instructor. “It’s great seeing younger guys come in with a great attitude and wanting to get in there and learn all these things. This class gives them a great opportunity and there’s nothing worse than somebody who comes to work and doesn’t want to further themselves.”
Southern Air’s sheet metal apprenticeship program certifies mechanics, allowing them to pursue a profitable career. Our hand-picked instructors teach their classes about layout, assembly, and installation for ducts used in HVAC construction projects. Students learn about automated machines, computer-assisted design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM). Southern Air teaches our mechanics to build extremely complex HVAC systems and their dedication to the trade is impressive.
This class is very important and we appreciate the students because we do this one Saturday a month. They’ve already put in a 40 hour work week with some working overtime hours.
Among the students was Southern Air sheet metal mechanic Jimmy Wheless. His typical day is spent at a job site installing hangers, laying out designs, utilizing laser technology, and setting duct work. Spending a Saturday to become a better mechanic is important to him.
“This is a program for apprentices to bring them up to mechanics or for mechanics who want to polish their skills. I love being able to make something with my hands, stand back when I’m done and know I’ve done a really good job,” says Wheless. “The thing I can take away is that you need to have pride in your work and make sure everything is accurate to the best of your ability. I wouldn’t know how to do that without these guys teaching me.”