Pipefitters who are sometimes referred to as “steamfitters” are tradesmen who have expertise in the installation and maintenance of pipe supports and pipe systems. They know how to maintain the piping and equipment that is used for various types of HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) systems water pipes and other piping systems that exist in residential and commercial buildings. They must be knowledgeable about the many different types of metals that are used in piping systems and how each type of metal is property cut bent and fused. Many of the piping systems installed and maintained by pipefitters is considered to be high pressure which requires a different type of expertise from for example a plumber who normally works with piping that transports low pressure water. In addition to pipefitting for the purposes of transporting steam chemicals or fuel most pipefitters also know how to install refrigeration systems and equipment. They work in residences as well as in commercial and industrial establishments not only installing equipment but also maintaining and inspecting it. Pipefitters also sometimes work in nuclear or power plants. A skill of utmost importance in the pipefitting profession is being able to read and follow blueprints. In order to become pipefitter individuals must go through an extended period of training. First they attend trade school and then serve in an apprenticeship that lasts from four to five years and includes advanced training and certification in welding. In most States in the United States pipefitters must be licensed journeymen. They can earn this designation by successfully completing the apprenticeship and then passing a test. The website www.indeed.com reports that pipefitters make approximately $49000 a year.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $49000
High Salary: $59000
Low Salary: $39000
Tasks: Maintains and repairs mechanical piping systems.
Assemble industrial piping.
Has knowledge of steam systems operations.
Reads and follows piping blueprints.
Also Called: Steamfitter
Pipefitter Journeyman
Piping Welder
Additional Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipefitter