Industry Articles From Kaempf and Harris

11 Statistics About Sheet Metal That'll Blow Your Mind


Did you know that fabricated metals are the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry when measured by employment? Our industry is also growing when it comes to production rate, revenue, projects, and shipments. Take a look at our complete list of recent sheet metal fabrication stats:

  1. Sheet metal employment is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is equal to the average rate for all occupations. This means there will be about 9,400 job openings in a decade.
  1. The best job opportunities arise from apprenticeship training and welding certifications.
  2. The highest 10 percent of sheet metal workers earned more than $80,000 annually in 2015. The most well paid employees worked in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.
  1. Last year, there were more than 58,000 locally owned and operated fab shops in the United States.
  1. The primary metals most often purchased by consumers include aluminum in bar, tube, sheet, or plate form; hot or cold rolled steel; and stainless steel.
  1. Like all businesses, the metal manufacturing industry is dependent on the state of the national economy. It boomed from 1990 to the mid-2000s, but experienced a downfall during the 2009 recession. Thankfully, it bounced back, and the sheet metal industry made a sky-high $28 billion in revenue last year.
  1. “8 states produced more than half of all the output from the fabricated metal products industry in 2013.” They include California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  1. More than half of fabricated metal products purchased in 2012 by U.S. consumers and businesses were domestically made.
  1. In 2013, 47 percent of total U.S. shipments of primary metals were from 5 states, including Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  2. The U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force offer career paths in sheet metal and welding. These professionals work on aircraft hangers, landing craft carriers, military-grade equipment, ships, submarines, and tanks.
  3. The most common uses for sheet metal include:
    • Air conditioning ducts and furnace flues
    • Air cowls

    • Awnings, canopies, cornices, and soffits

    • Coal chutes

    • Culverts, flumes, and irrigation pipes

    • Electronic enclosures (i.e. personal computer casings)

    • Food vats and bins

    • Guardrails

    • Mailboxes

    • Roofs, roof drainage equipment, and gutters

    • Sheet metal flooring and siding

    • Ship ventilators

    • Stovepipes and hoods 

The sheet metal fabrication industry is undoubtedly growing. Thanks to technology, it's now possible to balance supply and demand by simultaneously increasing exports and production rates. Also, the economy's steady rise from the 2009 recession means that it's easier for local consumers to purchase domestic goods and for trade workers to find long-term employment.  

Download the Sheet Metal Industry Fact Sheet

These facts were compiled with the help of the Economics and Statistics Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, HighBeam Business, IBIS World, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers.

Topics: Metals, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Apprenticeships, Industry

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent News

Download K&H's Metal Fabrication Techniques Cheat Sheet

Download K&H's Metal Fabrication Techniques Cheat Sheet

Download Kaempf & Harris' Metal Fabrication Techniques Cheat Sheet to learn about each metal fabrication technique.

Download the Cheat Sheet