By the Division of Professional Licensure

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What is sheet metal work?

Sheet metal work is defined by MGL c. 112, s. 237 as “the manufacturing, fabrication, assembling, handling, erection, installation, dismantling, alteration and repairing of all commercial duct or air exhaust systems, except for refrigeration and combustion units; installation of commercial fans, sheaves, belt guards, dampers, louvers, screens, registers, grilles, diffusers, sound traps, attenuators, mixing boxes and access doors in connection with duct or air exhaust systems, commercial and industrial architectural sheet metal watershed roof systems, except for roof coverings and associated metal flashing; the testing, adjusting and air?balancing of all air?handling equipment and ductwork installed during new or remodeling construction, the installation of commercial and industrial kitchen hoods, kitchen vents, bathroom exhaust vents and fans; provided, however, that sheet metal work shall not include the work conducted by a licensed pipe fitter, oil burning technician, refrigeration technician, plumber or gasfitter as determined by the laws and regulations relating to those professions.”

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How do I qualify for an apprentice license?

To qualify for an apprentice license you must: (1) be of good moral character; and (2) be employed by a master licensee.

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How do I qualify for a J-1 unrestricted journeyperson license?

To qualify for a J-1 unrestricted journeyperson license you must: (1) be of good moral character; (2) complete 8,000 hours of sheet metal experience, over no less than five years; (3) complete 750 hours of Board-approved education; and (4) successfully pass the licensing exam.

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How do I qualify for a J-2 restricted journeyperson license?

To qualify for a J-2 restricted journeyperson license you must: (1) be of good moral character; (2) complete 4,800 hours of sheet metal experience over no less than three years; (3) complete 450 hours of Board approved education; and (4) successfully pass the licensing exam.

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What are the work limitations of the J-2 restricted journeyperson license?

Individuals holding J-2 restricted journeyperson licenses may only work in residential dwellings that are three (3) stories or less and/or commercial projects that are two (2) stories or less and up to 10,000 total square feet in size.

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How do I qualify for a master license?

To qualify for a master license you must: (1) be of good moral character; (2) hold a journeyperson license; (3) complete a 40-hour master's course or a college-level three credit ‘Introduction to Business Course,’ or an equivalent course approved by the Board; and (4) successfully pass the M-1 or M-2 licensing exam.

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Is there as a limit to how many apprentices a master licensee can have?

No, but the apprentices must be properly supervised by journeyperson or master licensees. The minimum ratio is 1-supervisor to 1-apprentice and depending on the project, can be as great as 3-supervisors to 1-apprentice, per 271 CMR 5.02 (2) (f).

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Can I get credit for previous sheet metal experience working in Massachusetts?

You may be eligible to obtain some credit. For more information, please refer to the Board’s “Guidelines Regarding the Issuance of Credit Work Experience and Education.” The link to Board’s “Policies, Interpretations and Guidelines” page can be found under the “Statutes and Regulations” Menu.

Please Note: No credit will be given for work experience in Massachusetts after February 19, 2011, unless the work was performed as a licensed apprentice, under the supervision of a master sheet metal worker.

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Can I get credit for previous sheet metal experience working outside of Massachusetts?

You may be eligible to obtain some credit. For more information, please refer to the Board’s “Guidelines Regarding the Issuance of Credit Work Experience and Education.” The link to the Board’s “Policies, Interpretations and Guidelines” page can be found on the Board’s website under “Statutes and Regulations” menu.

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What are the requirements for an instructor license?

To qualify for an instructor’s license an applicant must: (1) be of good moral character; (2) have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent; (3) be a licensed journeyperson; and (4) and have 7-years of sheet metal experience.

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What are the requirements for a school license?

To become a licensed sheet metal school, applicant-schools must submit a copy of their curriculum, floor plans, occupancy permits, itemization of tuition and fees and copies of student contracts. Please refer to the Board’s school application form as well as the Board’s regulations, for additional information.

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When is a Business licenses required?

All business entities performing sheet metal work in Massachusetts are required to obtain a business license from the Board. Covered business entities include: C-Corporations; S-Corporations; Limited Liability Corporations; Professional Corporations; Limited Partnerships; and Limited Liability Partnerships.

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What are the requirements for a business license?

To become a licensed sheet metal business, businesses must submit certificates of liability insurance and a copy of their original articles of organization to the Board. All partners in a partnership or LLP must be licensed master sheet metal workers. Each corporation is required to have at least one master sheet metal worker/responsible craftsman as a corporate officer. Each LLC must designate a master sheet metal worker as the manager; this individual will be the responsible craftsman. For more information, please to the business license application as well as the Board’s regulations.

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What are the duties of the responsible craftsman?

The ‘responsible craftsman’ is a licensed master sheet metal worker who assumes the duties of and accepts the responsibilities associated with, being the ultimate regulated professional authority within a business entity.

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Who has jurisdiction over sheet metal work?

Effective on August 4, 2008, the Board was created and given jurisdiction over sheet metal work. Per MGL c. 112, s. 247, the Board was charged with creating rules and regulations governing the practice of sheet metal work. The Board has state sheet metal inspectors/investigators that provide permitting and inspection services for all state construction projects and investigation and enforcement services statewide. Local permitting and inspections services are provided by the local building inspector.

1) Commonwealth Inspections. Effective February 19, 2011, permits to perform sheet metal work in buildings owned, used, or leased by the Commonwealth shall be submitted to the Board. The Board and designated DPL staff shall grant or deny such permit applications and DPL inspectors shall perform the related inspections. Non?refundable fees for Commonwealth permits shall be established by the Secretary of Administration and Finance pursuant to M.G.L. c. 7, ' 3B. Commonwealth inspectors may inspect any work site regardless of the issuing authority for the permit.

(2) Local Inspections. For all buildings that are not owned or constructed by the United States Government or owned, used or constructed by the Commonwealth, permit applications shall be submitted to the local inspector of buildings, or a like official, who shall grant or deny all such permit applications and who shall perform the related inspections. Fees and fee procedures for local inspections shall be determined by the municipalities.

NOTE: For those buildings owned or constructed by the United States Government, permits and inspections are only performed at the request of the Federal Government.

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What duties do these requirements place on local inspectors?

Local inspectors must utilize the Board approved permits for sheet metal work, ensure that only licensed individuals perform sheet metal work, and enforce code requirements adopted by the Board.

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Will the Board be performing any enforcement actions on their own?

Yes, the Board has enforcement powers similar to other licensing entities. These powers include the ability to discipline any holder of a sheet metal license up to and including, the revocation of that license. Further, should the Board find evidence of unlicensed practice, the Board may assess fines of $1,000 for a first violation, and higher fines for additional violations. The Board requests that local inspectors be vigilant in looking for unlicensed practice, as the Board intends to vigorously enforce its licensing laws and regulations.

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Why do permit costs vary greatly between towns?

Cities and towns are allowed to set their own fees for local services. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services, is responsible for oversight of and assistance to cities and towns on these matters.

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Can mechanical permits be used instead of a sheet metal permit?

No, a separate sheet metal permit must be issued.

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What if the town doesn’t issue sheet metal permits?

Please notify the Board so that we can correct the situation. A licensee working without a permit is in violation of the Board’s regulations, and is subject to sanctions.

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When sheet metal permit fees are based on job cost what costs should be included?

Only the cost of the work regulated by the Board should be included on the sheet metal permit. The permit should not include the cost of air handling units, condensers, piping, insulation, etc. The city or town may require this work to be captured under a different permit (building or mechanical) but it should not be included on the sheet metal permit.

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Will the Board provide code interpretations?

Yes, an advisory opinion may be requested from the Board or designated Board staff. However, please be aware that interpretations are not voted on by the Board, and are nonbinding statements only.

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Can I appeal an inspector’s decision to the Board?

Yes, appeals regarding sheet metal work must be filed with the Board. Per 237 CMR 9.02(4)(b), individuals not agreeing with an inspector’s decision must file an appeal with the Board within ten (10) days.

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What if I don’t agree with the Board decision regarding an inspector appeal?

Anyone aggrieved by a Board decision must appeal that decision in court. However, it is incumbent on local inspector’s to enforce the statutes and regulations, as interpreted by the Board, to the best of their ability.

If I perform duct cleaning do I need a sheet metal license?

No, but any dismantling, alteration, repair of ductwork or installation of any access doors, should be performed by a licensed sheet metal worker.

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