Sheet Metal Contractor (Residential)

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 7 states
51st most burdensome licensing requirements
81st most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Sheet metal workers fabricate, assemble, install and repair sheet metal products and equipment, such as ducts, control boxes, drainpipes and furnace casings. Work may involve any of the following: setting up and operating fabricating machines to cut, bend and straighten sheet metal; shaping metal over anvils, blocks or forms using a hammer; operating soldering and welding equipment to join sheet metal parts; and inspecting, assembling and smoothing seams and joints of burred surfaces.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not sheet metal workers who work for them. Licensing requirements differ based on the scope of the work. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. In some states, work on commercial properties requires a general contractor's license that is not specific to sheet metal working; the requirements are generally the same as a commercial license, and they are treated the same here.


While only seven states require licenses for sheet metal work on residential properties, two of them -- Arizona and Maryland -- require a two-year apprenticeship and hefty fees. Four states require one exam, and Mississippi requires two. These requirements earn residential sheet metal contractors the rank of 52nd most burdensome licensing requirements among the 102 occupations studied.

(Last updated May 2, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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