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Sheet Metal Systems

Develop skills in layout, fabrication and installation of sheet metal products and duct systems.

Arms and gloved hands are pictured over a piece of sheet metal.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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The sheet metal trade requires an understanding of complex procedures in designing, building and connecting air handling systems and environmental controls.

Explore key skills through courses in fabrication and installation techniques, air systems and their related components for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

You learn:

  • Knowledge of construction documentation
  • Communication skills
  • Layout, fabrication and installation of sheet metal products, such as ductwork and roofing products

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You benefit from our expert faculty, who bring years of experience and strong industry connections to the classroom.
  • You get hands-on and practical training. This program teaches a balance of theory and practical application, which means you read and study how to do a job and then you get to apply those skills in a work-like setting.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • Industrial safety standards require that you have adequate vision and colour perception to operate safely in the shop and in the field while performing tasks of this trade.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Demand for qualified sheet metal workers is growing. Growth in the construction business and increasing emphasis on complete environmental control ensure a steady demand for sheet metal workers.
  • Graduates work in a variety of sectors, including residential and commercial construction, shipbuilding and offshore energy.
  • Modern buildings require up-to-date heating, cooling and ventilation systems, many of which depend upon air movement to satisfy design features. Sheet metal duct work, fans and connected controls are the heart of such systems.
  • Learn more about labour market information. View career options

Future study options

  • Sheet Metal Worker is a compulsory trade in Nova Scotia. Once employed, you must register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency as per the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Act.  
  • Red Seal Endorsement - individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are eligible to write the inter-provincial exam. A Red Seal allows certified tradespeople to practice the trade in any province or territory in Canada where the trade is designated.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

INDR 1010 - Industry Readiness
A crucial component of trade practice is the ability to share information. Explaining work, applying trade skills and meeting industry standards involves communicating effectively. This course introduces these skills with a trade focus and will help prepare students to contribute to employment and in the classroom. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

INDR 1020 - Working Effectively in the Trades
Almost all trades professionals will need to work well with others. Students in this course will learn to be effective team members and adapt and analyze how they share information with others. A selection of activities relevant to the particular trade will be used to practice collecting, analyzing and using trade information. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

SHEET 1001 - Safety and Rigging
Students will be introduced to personal safety and basic body mechanics. They will learn and apply shop safety, including fire safety procedures and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS). Students will learn to follow 5S+S practices in the shop. Course material covers rigging safety, equipment and basic lifting procedures. Students will be expected to apply the Occupational Health and Safety Act and accompanying Regulations, 5S+S and all safety procedures throughout the program.

SHEET 1003 - Tools and Equipment
Hand tools are designed to make your job easier and enable you to work more efficiently. You must be able to choose the correct tool for the task at hand and use it correctly in order to do the job quickly, accurately, and safely. Care of tools is important for both quality workmanship and cost control. In this course students will be introduced to the hand tools used for sheet metal - how to select, safely use, organize, store, and care for a wide variety of hand tools and non-powered equipment. Students will have the opportunity to apply safe work habits and good housekeeping in a workshop setting.

SHEET 1016 - Fabrication and Installation Fundamentals I
This course introduces layout procedures in the shop along with special considerations when developing patterns for duct and fittings to be fabricated. The procedures used to assemble the fittings will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to develop hands-on skills for fabrication and basic installation procedures in a shop setting.

SHEET 1017 - Pattern Development and Layout
This course introduces the laying out of sheet metal projects. Types of layout including simple, parallel line, radial line, and triangulation will be discussed as well as the different views required to achieve each method of layout. Students will have the opportunity to develop and lay out sheet metal projects using the straight line method in a shop setting.

SHEET 1018 - Basic Math
Accurate measurement and calculation are essential skills in performing sheet metal work. Students will solve mathematical problems from a trade perspective using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, metric and imperial measurement, ratio and proportion, percent, powers and roots, formulas, perimeters, areas, volumes, triangles, angles, and geometric construction.

SHEET 1019 - Introduction to Air Handling
Students will become familiar with a wide range of HVAC equipment and understand its role in air handling systems. Basic installation techniques will be introduced.

SHEET 1020 - Print Reading and Sketching
Instructions and drawings are a necessary part of planning and performing work in the trade. Students develop basic skills in reading and interpreting working drawings such as orthographic, isometric, and perspective along with the “alphabet of lines” used in mechanical drawings. Students will be exposed to elements in drawings that apply to other aspects of the construction project to see the pieces relevant to the Sheet Metal Worker trade in an authentic context.

SHEET 1021 - Metallurgy, Welding and Cutting
Students will be introduced to the terminology and properties of metals, types of sheet metals, structural shapes and sheet metal applications. Topics will include standard sizes and weights of sheet metal along with storage and handling procedures. Course material addresses the theory, equipment, and techniques required for successful gas metal arc welding. Topics will include: GMAW safety practices, equipment set-up, transfer modes, wire selection, shielded gas selection, as well as joints in all positions. Plasma Arc cutting will also be introduced. Equipment set-up, cutting modes, fitting imaging for layout, computer operation, and equipment maintenance will be addressed. Safety will be stressed throughout the course.

SHEET 1022 - Power Tools and Equipment
Students will learn how to select, safely use, organize, store, and care for a wide variety of power tools and equipment used in the Sheet Metal Worker trade. Students will have the opportunity to apply safe work habits and good housekeeping through projects carried out in a workshop setting.

SHEET 1023 - Applied Mathematics
Planning, layout and fabricating sheet metal products and systems requires calculations ranging from measurement to dealing with dimensions and angles of complex shapes. Students will extend and apply math skills to problems encountered in the sheet metal industry. Course material includes trigonometry, ratios, formulas, triangles, angles, conversions and geometric problems.

SHEET 1024 - Fabrication and Installation Fundamentals II
In this project-based course students will be engaged in planning, fabrication and installation of a basic heating duct system.

SHEET 1225 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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