Duties and responsibilities
A sprinkler fitter is responsible for installing, modifying and inspecting sprinkler systems. They can work for plumbing companies or be independent contractors. Regardless, their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Installing sprinkler and hose systems
- Repairing defective sprinkler systems
- Assembling pipes, tubes and other types of fittings that carry water to and from sprinklers
- Testing the sprinkler system to ensure it works
- Educating clients on the importance of fire prevention and the importance of checking their sprinkler system is working
To become a sprinkler fitter, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent. You will then need to complete an apprenticeship program, during which you will learn all the skills you need from experienced sprinkle fitters and through instruction.
Skills and relevant work experience
In order to have the best possible employment opportunities, aspiring sprinkle fitters should aim to get as much experience in the construction industry. Sprinkle fitters also need skills such as:
- Physical fitness and stamina, as sprinkle fitters will have to carry heavy materials and will have to stand up for long periods of time
- Detail orientation, as sprinkle fitters need to ensure that the pipes are welded in accordance to blueprints and instructions
- Communication skills, as sprinkle need to be able to communicate with clients on fire safety and other construction workers (e.g., plumbers, pipefitters)
- Dexterity, as sprinkle fitters need to be able to fix pipes together correctly and accurately
- Critical thinking, as sprinkle fitters must be able to problem-solve when issues arise in a project
Sprinkle fitters tend to work full time. Evening, holiday and weekend hours are often necessary, as sprinkler fitters are routinely on-call for emergency repairs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was $55,160 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,170. Sprinkler fitters can expect to earn in a similar range to this.
The employment growth of all plumbers and pipefitters is expected to increase over the coming years, offering many exciting employment opportunities. After completing an apprenticeship program and passing the required exams, sprinkler fitters are qualified to perform tasks independently. After several years of experience, sprinkler fitters may advance to become supervisor, project manager or they may choose to start their own business as an independent contractor.