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Pipefitter

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Pipe Fitter and Steam Fitter

Fitters assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. They may install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. These workers may include sprinkler fitters. Typical duties include:1

  • Plan pipe system layout, installation, or repair, according to specifications.
  • Inspect, examine, or test installed systems or pipe lines, using pressure gauge, hydrostatic testing, observation, or other methods.
  • Select pipe sizes, types, or related materials, such as supports, hangers, or hydraulic cylinders, according to specifications.
  • Measure and mark pipes for cutting or threading.
  • Attach pipes to walls, structures, or fixtures, such as radiators or tanks, using brackets, clamps, tools, or welding equipment.
  • Assemble or secure pipes, tubes, fittings, or related equipment, according to specifications, by welding, brazing, cementing, soldering, or threading joints.
  • Lay out full scale drawings of pipe systems, supports, and related equipment, following blueprints.
  • Turn valves to shut off steam, water, or other gases or liquids from pipe sections, using valve keys or wrenches.
  • Cut, thread, or hammer pipes to specifications, using tools such as saws, cutting torches, pipe threaders, or pipe benders.
  • Remove and replace worn components.

Job Growth

It is expected that there will be 130,500 pipefitter job openings through 2022.1

Training

Although some pipefitters gain experience through apprenticeships, many pipefitters attend a vocational or trades school.  Learn about getting your welding certification and Charter College.  

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Pipefitters, and steam fitters. Retrieved 5/15/15.  http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/47-2152.00

2 BLS Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters