Sheet Metal Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the apprenticeship work?

Apprenticeship is a two part program, it combines on the job training (OJT) with class room training (related training). The Sheet Metal Worker Apprenticeship is a 5 year program with opportunity for advancements/raises every six months.

How often am I available for work during my Apprenticeship?

Any days & times you are not required to attend scheduled mandatory apprenticeship classes/training

Am I required to have experience?

NO. Apprenticeship is designed to help you in gaining the required skills & knowledge both on the job and related classroom training to become a journeyman level sheet metal worker. If you do have experience, there are other things you can do to earn additional points during the application process which will help you in becoming a more qualified applicant.

Are there any physical requirements?

A drug screening is required for ALL applicants accepted into the apprenticeship program and all applicants must read and understand the working conditions for the sheet metal industry. Refer to the application packet for the Essential Functions Job Analysis

How do I apply?

You must apply in person at one of our apprenticeship application locations. Locations are found in the application Packet. NOTE: you must bring ALL of your qualifying documents with you at the time of application.

What are the entrance requirements?

Refer to the minimum qualifications for the apprenticeship in the application packet

What do I need to bring with me at the time of application?

Refer to and follow the checklist of required (& other) documents contained in the application packet.

Do I need to provide high school transcripts & placement test results

even if I have college academics and or a College degree?

YES. All applicants must meet the MINIMUM entrance requirements even if you have more than the minimum requirements. The more academics/training records you provide the more possible points you can earn, providing proof of additional training records will benefit you.

Do I need to provide official transcripts?

NO. However, they must be “Complete” (graduation date, ALL classes with grades, GPA, etc.) and Legible


How Can I access the application (packet)?

Online @, under "Become an Apprentice”, then Application Packet (print 2-sided) or come into one of our Training Center campuses to pick one up (Portland or Springfield, Oregon)

Can I apply online?

NO. You must apply in person.

What should I expect after the application process?

If you meet the entrance requirements you will be scheduled for an interview prior to the end of the month following your application.  
What should I expect after the interview?

After interviewing your name will be placed on a ranked pool of eligible’s list along with a combined score of the results of your interview & documentation points. Your name and score will remain on the list for two years, if in that two years you rank in the top scoring accepted applicants you will be notified by phone and e-mail along with a date of when you begin the first stage of your apprenticeship (one week long boot camp). You WILL NOT be notified unless you rank in the top scoring accepted applicants; if you want to know where you ranked on the pool of eligible list you must follow the instructions given to you at the time of application. The pool of eligible’ s list is updated monthly by the end of the month

Do I have to re-apply and start the application process over from the beginning to improve my ranking?

No. Once an applicant has been placed on the ranked pool of eligible’ s they may attempt to improve their score by doing one of the following:

1. Add documentation points to overall score. (Refer to the “Protocol for Submitting Documentation Points” contained in the application packet)

2. Re-interview. (Refer to “Protocol for Request to Re-Interview” contained in the application packet)

[*]     How can I improve my overall score after I have been placed on the ranked pool of eligible’s?

Once an applicant has been placed on the ranked pool of eligible’ s they can submit documentation to add points to their overall score, there are several things you can do to raise your overall score, refer to the “Documentation Point’s Sheet” in the application packet, applicants must follow the “Protocol for Submitting Documentation Points” contained in the application packet.                                                                                                                 

[*]      Once I have Interviewed and been placed on the ranked pool of eligible’ s am I able to request to re-interview?

Yes. You must wait at least six (6) months from your last application date to be eligible to re-interview. Applicants must follow the “Protocol for Request to Re-Interview” contained in the application packet.

How long does it typically take to be accepted into the program

from the time of application?

Several factors determine the time it takes to be accepted into the Apprenticeship program.

1. Work flow in the Industry

2. Demand for apprentices in the program and Industry

3. Where you rank on the Pool of Eligible’s list.

4. When you apply and when the last time applicants were accepted into the program (if when you apply a group was recently accepted in, it could take several months before another group is accepted)

What can I do to become a better qualified applicant?

There are several things you can do to raise your overall score.  Refer to the documentation point’s sheet in the application packet. Additional points can improve your chances of placing in the top ranking for future entrance into the program.

What is the length of the program?

We have two (2) different apprenticeship programs.

1. The Sheet Metal Worker Apprenticeship is a 5-year program consisting of a minimum 8,000 on-the-job (OJT) hours and a minimum 1000 related training hours.

2. The Sheet Metal Worker Service System Technician Apprenticeship is a 5-year program consisting of a minimum 8,000 on-the-job (OJT) hours and a minimum 1000 related training hours.

What is the starting hourly rate for Apprentices?

The usual starting hourly rate for an apprentice is 50% of Local Union 16 Journeyman wages; for updated hourly wages refer to Local Union 16’s current contract.

Area 1 - Counties: (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, Yamhill - Oregon counties... Clark and Skamania - Washington counties)
Area 2 - Counties: (Douglas, Lake & Lane)
Area 3 - Counties: (Coos & Curry)
Area 4 - Counties: (Jackson, Josephine & Klamath)

Do Apprentices receive benefits?

YES. Apprentices receive family health care, including dental after accruing an hour bank (typically takes about 3 months to begin coverage). They also receive a substantial Pension plan that begins with their first hour on the job.

Once I'm accepted when will classes start?

Once you've been notified of your acceptance into the program you will be scheduled for a one week “Boot Camp", typically about a month after notification.  After successful completion of Boot Camp you will be scheduled for your first week of regular Apprenticeship classes, typically within 6 weeks.

What days and hours are classes held?

Monday - Friday from 7:00am to 3:30 pm. and there can be a class(es) held in the evening (usually First Aid/CPR AED at the start of your apprenticeship)

Where will I be attending classes?

Depending on the location where you applied and are accepted determines where you attend classes.

We have 2 campuses to serve you.

Sheet Metal Institute - Portland campus: 2379 NE 178th Ave., Portland, OR 97230 (Portland, Salem, Bend & SW Washington)
Sheet Metal Institute - Springfield campus: 1887 Laura Street, Springfield, OR 97477 (Eugene, Medford & Coos Bay)

Once I'm accepted into the Apprenticeship do I start work right away?

After being accepted into the apprenticeship program, typically you will attend a mandatory 1 week "Boot Camp". Upon successful completion of Boot Camp you are available to be dispatched to work by Sheet Metal Workers Local Union # 16. How quickly you get dispatched depends on the work picture.

Do Apprentices work steady?

Apprentices typically work as steady as the average Industry worker, but are subject to layoffs.

Are there costs to participate in the program?

Apprentices pay tuition for each week they are in school. Apprentices earn college credits through Mt. Hood Community College and pay approximately $260.00 per class (3 credit hour class), currently there are 23 classes during your 5-year apprenticeship that are tuition based. There are also miscellaneous supplies you will need for certain weeks of training, these are of minimal cost and can be purchased at the Training Center.

Can I use my Veteran Benefits (GI Bill) in the Apprenticeship Program?

YES. Once accepted into the Apprenticeship program we will assist you in filing an application with the Veterans Administration to determine if you qualify to use your benefits in the program.

What type of work will I perform?

Sheet Metal is a very diverse industry that encompasses many different types of work. Typically about 60% of our workers will spend a substantial amount of their time working on job sites in the Commercial HVAC segment of our industry.

What is the difference between an AccuPlacer & Compass test?

Both tests are typically the same in context; the difference is the courses that you are placed into based on the scores you receive in each category, this is why our entrance requirements state “you must place into AccuPlacer Math 60 & Writing 101 minimum or Compass placement test with a minimum score of 30 on the Algebra test & minimum score of 70 on the Writing test. These tests are a part of our entrance requirements for the apprenticeship program. The tests are typically given at a local community college and consist of reading, writing & math. The purpose of the test is to get an idea of where your understanding is in these areas of study. For study resources you can access select the practice test link for the test you intend on taking OR

What is a work Keys or NCRC test?

This test, also known as NCRC (National career readiness certificate) can earn you additional documentation points towards your application for the sheet metal apprenticeship program. The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a valuable, portable certificate that verifies three foundational skills--Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. The NCRC is used by thousands of employers, employees and job applicants as a uniform measure of key workplace skills. It helps job applicants stand out from the crowd, and assures employers that applicants have the foundational skills needed to be successful on the job.


For more information visit or or to make an appointment to take the test CONTACT your local WORKSOURCE (or Employment Department) to verify if that location gives the test.


Portland area: Thomas Dunn @ WorkSource Ph:(503) 669-7112, email:

Eugene area:  Contact WorkSource Lane (541) 682-7200