Sheet Metal and Plastics Technology

Student working with a piece of sheet metal in the shop

Program Mission

The Sheet Metal & Plastics Technology program's mission is to serve the community as a learningcentered, open door program that provides technical training to meet the demands of the sheet metal and plastics industry and the needs of the individual. An open-exit option allows the students to identify their career objectives and participate in program exploration.

Program Description

This curriculum is designed to qualify students for entry into the field of sheet metal as apprentices. They will develop skills in fabricating air conditioning ducts; architectural metal work; welding and fabricating plastics; and, pattern development.

Degrees That Can Be Earned

  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
  • Certificate of Achievement (CA)

Cost of Textbooks/Supplies

  • Tuition based on number of credits taken.
  • The cost of tools, instruments, and textbooks is approximately $625.

Upon successful completion of the SMP program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and properly use personal safety equipment.
  • Understand the need for safety equipment in the shop and field.
  • Show proper use and care of sheet metal hand tools.
  • Identify the proper use, care and safety concerns of shop equipment.
  • Produce orthographic drawings for items requiring fabrication.
  • State the three forms of metal fabrication.
  • Produce basic fitting layout using any of the three methods.
  • Identify the base rules for order of operation in fabrication.
  • Layout, cut, notch, and bend in proper order, various fittings / components using sheet metal and plastic.
  • Identify the diff erent gauges of sheet metal, forming methods, and connection processes after lay out.
  • Identify and install common fasteners used in sheet metal work.
  • Properly mix and apply acids used in soldering.
  • Produce soldering joints on galvanized iron.
  • Identify Air Conditioner duct work fittings, their uses, connection types, and fabrication methods.
  • Explain the use of Short-cut layout methods and when they apply.

Our program technical standards have been developed to help students understand the minimum essential mental, physical, and behavioral skills necessary for participation in and completion of all core aspects of our curriculum.

Thinking Skills


Apply standard principles and practices to solve sheet metal shop problems.


  • Read textbooks, handouts, diagrams and charts.
  • Visualize three-dimensional objects.
  • Distinguish shapes, forms, and patterns.
  • Take accurate measurements and do conversions.
  • Identify names and uses of tools and machines.
  • Identify safety concerns.
  • Explain characteristics and uses of sheet metal and related supplies.
  • Perform standard fabrication and installation practices.
  • Follow safety procedures.
  • Formulate fabrication plans.
  • Perform procedures according to proper specifications.
  • Distinguish indicators of poor vs. quality construction.

Sensory/Observation Skills


Use sensory cues to maintain standards of quality fabrication and installation.


  • Take precise measurements to 1/16 of an inch and to 1 degree of an angle.
  • Recognize and compare shapes and forms of objects.
  • Detect fabrication problems.
  • Survey and select appropriate materials, tools and equipment for sheet metal work.

Motor Skills


Possess sufficient physical strength, flexibility, and dexterity to safely perform sheet metal work.


  • Operate necessary tools, equipment, and machinery.
  • Remove, repair, and replace sheet metal components.
  • Work at varying heights.
  • Position and maneuver in confined spaces.
  • Lift and transport tools, equipment and materials as necessary.

Communication Skills


Communicate effectively to gather and convey information.


  • Obtain necessary information from oral and written sources.
  • Express information coherently.

Behavioral Skills


Behave appropriately and safely in a cooperative learning environment.


  • Fulfill personal and shared responsibilities.
  • Work cooperatively with partners and groups.
  • Exercise good judgement.
  • Follow safety procedures.

Environmental Tolerance


Function safely in a sheet metal shop environment.


  • Work for prolonged periods exposed to: Extreme noise, Moderate heat, Sharp tools and materials, Electrical powered tools and equipment, Chemicals and toxins (using proper safety equipment), Dust and fumes (using proper safety equipment), Machinery with moving parts, Slippery or uneven surfaces, Variations in lighting

How long is the program?

The program is 1 year. You will receive your Certificate of Achievement upon completion of 32 credits.

When do classes start?

Classes start only in the Fall semester and continue through the Spring.

Will a degree in sheet metal help me get into the Sheet Metal Union?

Yes. Upon completion of the Certificate of Achievement, you receive an automatic entry to the union apprentice program.

What do sheet metal workers do?

They create three dimensional products from flat sheets of steel and plastic. They design, cut, punch, drill, rivet, weld, solder, fabricate and install products such as air conditioning ducts, gutters, skylights and any other product made with sheet metal.

Are there any unique features of this program?

Yes. The Hawaiʻi Joint Apprenticeship Committee For the Sheet Metal Industry offers twelve scholarships annually for qualified students pursuing a career in the industry. The scholarship includes payment of tuition, fees and books.

Are there any evening classes?

No. All sheet metal classes are offered during the day.

What kind of tools will I need to buy for the program?

Your instructor will give you a tool list when you start. The approximate cost which include books is about $525.00.