In May 2004, median hourly earnings of sheet metal workers were $17.09. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.49 and $23.89. The lowest 10 percent of all sheet metal workers earned less than $9.80, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30.78. The median hourly earnings of the largest industries employing sheet metal workers in May 2004 were as follows:
|Federal executive branch and United States Postal Service
|Building equipment contractors
|Building finishing contractors
|Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
|Architectural and structural metals manufacturing
Apprentices normally start at about 40 to 50 percent of the rate paid to experienced workers. As apprentices acquire more skills throughout the course of their training, they receive periodic increases until their pay approaches that of experienced workers. In addition, union workers in some areas receive supplemental wages from the union when they are on layoff or shortened workweeks.