How to Become a Pipefitter
Pipefitting is an important part of the construction of buildings and structures. It involves installing and repairing piping and tubing systems that transfer gas, liquid, and sometimes solid materials. Pipefitters are trained workers that choose and prepare pipes and tubing and connect it together in a variety of ways.
What does a pipefitter do?
Pipefitters lay out, assemble, set up, maintain, and fix various types of piping systems. They use a variety of materials such as plastic, iron, copper, aluminum, steel, lead, and clay. They work with water systems, waste systems, and systems that provide gas for heating and cooling and cooking purposes. They install and fix low-pressure and high-pressure piping systems used in heating and cooling, manufacturing, and creating electricity in buildings and structures. They read and interpret specifications, plans, and blueprints, create detailed sketches for pipe and equipment installation, cut openings for the pipes using many different tools, measure and cut materials, and complete threading, bending, grooving, brazing, soldering, and welding tasks. They also set up automatic control panels to regulate a variety of systems.
Pipefitters use many different construction methods and materials depending on the project type. Some systems are very specialized such as municipal sewerage systems, and require crews of pipefitters.
What kind of training does a pipefitter need?
Most pipefitters complete formal training through community colleges and technical schools. Some complete apprenticeship programs that provide comprehensive training. Most apprenticeship programs consist of 4 to 5 years of 144 hours of annual classroom instruction and paid training on the job. Coursework typically includes mathematics, blueprint reading, drafting, safety, chemistry, and physics. Apprentices learn basic skills through on the job training. As they gain experience, they learn how to work with many types of pipes and how to install various piping systems. A few states require pipefitters to be licensed and the requirements usually include work experience and passing a written examination.
What are the prospects for a career as a pipefitter?
Employment of pipefitters is projected to about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% through 2016 (1). The growing population and construction and maintenance of buildings and structures will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be very good especially for pipefitters that are skilled and have welding abilities. Job openings will also arise to replace pipefitters who retire or leave the field.
How much do pipefitters make?
Currently, the middle 50% of pipefitters earned annual salaries between $34,940 and $48,310. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $55,174 (2).
A career as a pipefitter is a great choice for people interested in installing piping and tubing. Pipefitters must be in good physical health and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Confidence, precision, leadership, organization, manual dexterity, and willingness to learn are essential qualities. Good mathematical skills and ability to work as part of a team are also necessary traits.
Becoming a Pipefitter Requires Training, Start Today
Are you serious about becoming a Pipefitter? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!