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Industrial Pipefitter Apprenticeship
Did you know?*
- Job opportunities should be very good, especially for workers with welding experience.
- Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters comprise one of the largest and highest paid construction occupations.
- Apprenticeship programs generally provide the most comprehensive training, but many workers train in career or technical schools or community colleges.
*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pipefitters lay out, assemble, install, and maintain high and low pressure pipe systems, including: pipe supports, and related hydraulic and pneumatic equipment; for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, and industrial production, and processing systems.
- Layout, fabricate, and install piping components; includes layout with a square, templates, offset, miters, bends, saddles, reducers, flanges, elbows, bolt holes, penetration and hangers; includes fabrication of pipe and tubing, pipe, tubing and fittings, templates, offsets with miters and fittings, bend pipe and tubing, and the fabrication saddles, reducers, flanges, tees, laterals, "Y" fittings and elbows, a hanger and stands and assembly from a detail.
- Install and maintain industrial piping systems; such as: process piping, process team, steam heating, hot water heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
- Install, maintain, and troubleshoot hydraulics and pneumatics systems.
- Perform rigging operations.
- Transfer and handle hazardous materials.
- Apply safety and shop fundamentals to power and hand tools, and obtain training in OSHA safety standards.
- Additional work processes may be used to meet local needs, welding/certified, fittings familiarization, maintain valves ad actuators, maintain natural gas, propane ad fuel poi emitters and trains, maintain heat treat furnaces and auxiliary equipment.
Industrial pipefitters work in a factory setting either inside or outside in all weather conditions. They may be required to climb on machinery, lift heavy objects, and work at heights at times on ladders, scaffolding and catwalks in awkward positions, confined spaces, and areas where there may be risks. They use protective equipment to avoid common hazards; such as: safety belts, protective glasses and hard hats.
- 4 year training program
- 8,000 hours on-the-job training
- 576 hours paid related instruction
- Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and Transition-To-Trainer courses also required
- Entry requirements vary by employer
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Physically able to perform trade
- Applicants apply directly to participating employers
- Designs- Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints and drawings.
- Mechanical- Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- English Language- Knowledge and comprehension of the English language including reading, writing, and speaking.
- Mathematics- Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and their applications.
- Computers- Knowledge of computer hardware and software, including their applications.
- Public Safety and Security- Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and laws for the protection of people and property.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment- Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
- Equipment- Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job. Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Complex Problem Solving- Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Installation- Installing equipment and machines to meet specifications.
- Instructing- Teaching others how perform specific tasks and how to perform machine and equipment maintenance, repair, and related activities.
- Active Listening & Learning- 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. Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking- Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension- Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Repairing- Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Time Management- Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Physical Ability- The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers in order to manipulate or assemble objects. The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects. Ability to work at heights on ladders and to lift up to 40 lbs. The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
- Information Ordering- The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision- The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Reasoning- The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events) and to convey the information to others.
- Problem Sensitivity- The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Visualization- The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Communication- The ability to communicate orally and in writing.
- Team Work- Ability to work in teams.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Industrial Pipefitter trade in the United States, visit:
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook