Work in the skilled trades offers a steady paycheck, an opportunity to practice your skills in a range of different environments, and the chance to work with a community of like-minded individuals. If you’re looking for a new career that will be both personally and financially rewarding, you might consider becoming a pipefitter. Pipefitters install and repair pipes in industrial settings, such as manufacturing plants or oil refineries, as well as in construction, be it commercial or residential.
Six reasons to consider training as a pipefitter include:
1. This is an exciting time to join a growing industry: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pipefitting and plumbing field is projected to grow 21 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is a faster than average rate of growth, and is good news for anyone considering these trades. At present, there are not enough skilled pipefitters to support the industry growth and many businesses are actively recruiting new pipefitters.
2. You can start earning money soon. Since pipefitting technical training programs can prepare you to enter the industry after a relatively short time frame — compared with apprentice programs that can take years to complete — they are an ideal way to enter the trade soon, while there are still many opportunities. Learning the trade now puts you in position to quickly gain in-field work experience and rise within the field.
3. The position pays well: Pipefitters usually learn by attending a technical school or undertaking an apprenticeship. No 4-year college education is necessary. The job pays approximately $23.62 per hour or $49,140 annually*. If you attain a union position, you may be able to earn more. Considering that it doesn’t require a costly degree from a 4-year college, and you can get started with a technical program, the return on your investment is very high. If you’re looking for a job that pays well and doesn’t require a lengthy education, pipefitting may be the right position for you.
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4. Employment in the field is steady: Those high industry growth rates through 2022 mean that the field of pipefitting is going to have steady work through the next decade. After the recession’s negative impact on the trades, this is excellent news. If you train as a pipefitter now and get into the industry during this growth state, you can rise in the ranks and enjoy a stable, rewarding career.
5. You’ll likely receive excellent benefits: Since many pipefitters belong to a union, they receive excellent benefits including paid time off and medical care. While benefits in some careers are becoming more of a luxury than a right, most pipefitters still receive the traditional benefits that families have come to rely on. Whether you’re considering a pipefitting career to support a family or to earn a decent living for yourself, there’s no question that access to benefits enhances your quality of life and reduces your out of pocket expenses.
6. You can increase your earning through overtime work: While you’ll already enjoy stable wages and a 40-hour workweek, you can use overtime to increase your paycheck. By working overtime, you will be able to earn more money and a higher rate of pay than you normally receive, although you will have to work in the evening and on weekends. The oil and gas industries in particular have increased the demand for pipefitters. If you work in a community that has an active oil and gas industry presence, you are much more likely to get overtime work than if you do not live near a community with shale oil resources.
At Tulsa Welding School, we offer programs designed to jump-start your pipefitting career in just 6 1⁄2 months. For more information about our pipefitter training program and employment opportunities in the field, contact us today.
*National data for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters reported by BLS for May 2013. Oklahoma’s mean annual/hourly wage is $39,190/$18.84 for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (47-2152) http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm#47-0000. Avg. starting salary for Pipefitting is $42,181 for TWS graduates employed during the 12 month period of 7/1/12-6/30/13.