Pipefitter and Steamfitter Career

pipefitter-500Pipefitters and steamfitters are essentially a specialized type of plumber that focuses on assembling, installing, maintaining and repairing pipe systems used to transport liquids and gases. Pipe and steamfitters work in a huge range of environments as their services can be required in any residential, commercial and industrial setting or any other place where there are pipes for heating, cooling, steam or sewage and septic systems.

The majority of pipefitters and steamfitters work for a private company and most work a typical 40-hour week, although the high rate of plumbing and pipe emergencies means that night and weekend work is often required. Unfortunately, this type of work is one of the most dangerous of all construction jobs and has one of the highest incidents of job related illnesses and injuries. As with many other construction jobs, self-employment opportunities abound for those with the proper qualifications and licenses.

Pipefitter and Steamfitter Career Snapshot

Further details on careers as pipefitters and steamfitters are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for pipefitters and steamfitters.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


jobs in 2014 with an additional 49,100 jobs added through 2024.

Pipefitter & Steamfitter Education

Most pipefitters and steamfitters have a high-school diploma or GED, although this is typically not a requirement. In order to be properly licensed and certified, it is usually necessary to get on-the-job training through a several year apprenticeship program. However, there are also a number of technical certifications available that can increase your chances of getting a better paying job.

Pipefitter & Steamfitter Job Duties

Workers are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing a variety of types of piping. This means typical duties involve cutting, soldering, welding, etc. As well, pipefitters and steamfitters are expected to be able to properly inspect and test pipes and piping systems.

Pipefitter & Steamfitter Salaries

Pipefitting and steamfitting jobs tend to pay higher than many other construction careers, and in 2015, the median salary of the average worker was nearly $51,500 as per the BLS.gov. Although those in the lower end of the salary range may only make around $30,000 a year, the yearly salary of the highest paid workers can rise to over $90,000.

Pipefitter & Steamfitter Job Outlook

Overall, the entire U.S. construction industry is expected to undergo quite rapid growth over the next 10 years. In particular, pipefitting and steamfitting jobs are predicted to increase by 12 percent by 2024, which is much higher than the national average for other careers. Part of this growth will be dictated by the fact that many current workers are nearing retiring age. New construction will also help, but there will always be a fairly high demand due to the constant need for plumbing maintenance and repair.

Pipefitter and Steamfitter Skills & Traits

Pipefitter & Steamfitter Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Pipefitters & Steamfitters:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Speaking
• Arm-Hand Steadiness
• Control Precision
• Manual Dexterity
• Near Vision
• Hoists
• Automatic levels
• Pneumatic grinders
• Power grinders
• Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
• Performing General Physical Activities
• Handling and Moving Objects
• Getting Information

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