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Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter

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What Does it Take to Be a Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter?

Job Description: Lay out, assemble, install, or maintain pipe systems, pipe supports, or related hydraulic or pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, or industrial production or processing systems.

Life As a Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter: What Do They Do?

  • Remove and replace worn components.
  • Modify, clean, or maintain pipe systems, units, fittings, or related machines or equipment, using hand or power tools.
  • Inspect, examine, or test installed systems or pipe lines, using pressure gauge, hydrostatic testing, observation, or other methods.
  • Install or test gray water systems, such as recycling, treatment, or irrigation systems.
  • Cut or bore holes in structures, such as bulkheads, decks, walls, or mains, prior to pipe installation, using hand or power tools.
  • Install fixtures, appliances, or equipment designed to reduce water or energy consumption.

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Skills

Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • Plumbing Installer
  • Fire Hydrant Mechanic
  • Air Conditioning Installer
  • Gas Fitter
  • Plumber and Tinner

Job Opportunities for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters

There were about 480,600 jobs for Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 15.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 75,200 new jobs for Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter by 2026. The BLS estimates 61,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter are Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Average Salary

The salary for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters ranges between about $32,100 and $93,700 a year.

Salary Ranges for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters

Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters who work in Illinois, Alaska, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $45,260
Alaska $75,520
Arizona $48,950
Arkansas $43,540
California $61,410
Colorado $53,350
Connecticut $63,780
Delaware $61,640
District of Columbia $69,800
Florida $44,200
Georgia $48,680
Hawaii $73,810
Idaho $47,320
Illinois $79,400
Indiana $60,030
Iowa $52,060
Kansas $55,140
Kentucky $55,890
Louisiana $54,940
Maine $50,830
Maryland $60,610
Massachusetts $70,320
Michigan $61,620
Minnesota $74,220
Mississippi $45,280
Missouri $63,550
Montana $60,940
Nebraska $55,110
Nevada $55,600
New Hampshire $55,180
New Jersey $71,370
New Mexico $45,420
New York $73,820
North Carolina $43,750
North Dakota $53,800
Ohio $55,640
Oklahoma $50,710
Oregon $73,810
Pennsylvania $60,380
South Carolina $44,970
South Dakota $43,600
Tennessee $48,850
Texas $49,180
Utah $51,970
Vermont $51,210
Virginia $50,330
Washington $67,090
West Virginia $60,000
Wisconsin $68,510
Wyoming $53,550

What Tools & Technology do Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • Internet browser software

How to Become a Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter

Are there Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters education requirements?

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Work Experience

Where Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters Are Employed

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Pipe Fitter or Steamfitter sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Tomwsulcer via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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