Pipefitters apply their knowledge of welding, pipefitting and fabrication principles to work in fields involving the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of all types of applications utilizing piping. Pipefitters frequently work with pipe systems that utilize hydraulics, pneumatics, and other industrial-type system components.
Pipefitters lay out, assemble, fabricate, repair and maintain pipes, pipefittings and piping systems. They perform advanced tasks related to welding, brazing, soldering, pipe threading and pipe grinding. Pipefitters are also responsible for setup, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of the equipment they use such as welders. They must be able to read and interpret advanced blueprints and schematics.
Pipefitters perform their duties in a variety of settings. Pipefitters may work in confined spaces in power plants or they might be found laying pipeline systems in remote locations. They may be exposed to indoor and outdoor hazards and therefore must have the appropriate occupational safety training to complete their jobs safely.
Pipefitters must be quality-oriented and be able to carefully follow oral and written instructions to ensure that their work is accurate and completed according to established specifications and quality standards. Some pipefitters work in teams or groups and must have good teamwork and interpersonal skills.
Pipefitters are usually employed by construction companies, utility companies, industrial/manufacturing companies, petroleum companies and maintenance contractors.
Most pipefitters have attended career or technical schools or have participated in an apprenticeship. An associate degree in welding or pipefitting, or a Journeyman Pipefitters Certificate is typically required for this occupation.
LINKS TO CAREER/INDUSTRY RESOURCES
A Day in the Life: Pipefitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qt9aIn8vbY
Get into Energy Career Profile: Gas Technician: http://getintoenergy.com/gas-technician/
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada: http://www.ua.org/
National Center for Welding Education and Training: http://www.weld-ed.org/
Careers in Welding: http://www.careersinwelding.com/
American Welding Society: http://www.aws.org/w/a/
Fabricators and Manufacturers Association: http://www.fmanet.org/
American National Standards Institute: http://www.ansi.org/
National Association of Manufacturers: http://www.nam.org/
American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA): http://www.americanpipeline.org/
O*NET Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/47-2152.00
Photos courtesy Mine Safety and Health Administration and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Get Into Energy / Get Into STEM is a ground-breaking program designed to build awareness among students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and others about the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and the excellent career opportunities available in the energy industry.
Get Into Energy / Get Into STEM is managed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), a non-profit consortium of electric, natural gas, and nuclear utilities and their associations.