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Pipefitter Career Guide

Pipefitter Career Ratings

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Overview

Pipefitters are skilled tradesmen that work with piping systems designed to handle high pressure. They usually work on complex pipe systems such as those in manufacturing, commercial and industrial settings. Their main job is to create, assemble, install, alter, and repair pipe systems. As such, they must be able to read blueprints and follow the specifications indicated. Their work requires them to use tools such as drills, saws, and welding torches.

Most pipefitters learn the trade on the job through 4 or 5 years of apprenticeship while some attend vocational-technical school. They are required to pass a licensing exam to become journey-level workers. Some states may also require them to have a special license to work on gas lines.

Since manufacturing and industrial businesses are booming, the demand for pipefitters is also increasing which means that there are steady employment opportunities and people in this career earn good money. As most pipefitters join unions, they can also enjoy excellent benefits. However, because pipefitters often work with heavy and sharp materials, the risk of injuries is also present. Cuts and burns are the more common injuries on the job. Another negative of the job is that they are often on call to handle emergencies. They also work on nights and weekends, as with those in the construction industry.

A good pipefitter is one that has good mechanical and troubleshooting skills, as well as manual dexterity. As the job also includes the lifting of heavy tools and materials, one must also have great physical strength. If you are a natural at assembling things, then this career might be right for you!


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