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.
Related Job Titles
- 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.
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.
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|
|District of Columbia||$69,800|
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?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters Are Employed
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
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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