welder fitting a pipe

What Is a Pipefitter?

welder fitting a pipe

Pipefitters are considered to be some of the most skilled welders. 1 They install and repair the pipes that are essential to everyday life. The pipes that plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (47-2152) work on carry liquids or gases the water, oil and natural gas people rely on. 2 While many people aren’t aware of the work of pipefitters, the work they do is essential.

labyrinth of pipes

What Does a Pipefitter Do?

No building can be constructed without pipes. You can find them in homes, businesses, and factories. So, what does a pipefitter do? Here is a list of a pipefitter’s tasks.

Typical Tasks:

  • Install
  • Repair
  • Inspect
  • Test
  • Troubleshoot
  • Replace

What Skills Do Pipefitters Need?

Pipefitters need a combination of generalized and specialized skills.

Pipefitter Skills:

  • Physical Strength
  • Mechanical Knowledge 3
  • Construction Skills
  • Pipe Fabrication and Bending
  • Welding
  • Pipe Installation and Shoring

Critical thinking, reading, and time management are a few others, though these are general rather than specific pipefitter skills. 4

Ready to Move Forward?

Whether you need more information, want to speak to someone, or start the application process, we're with you every step of the way. Contact us to get started on working toward your future.

How Long Is Pipefitter Training?

It’s not uncommon for pipefitters to learn the skills at a trade school. Most trade school programs take two years or less to complete. 5 Some schools like Tulsa Welding School, offers pipefitter training as part of the Professional Welder program. Skills taught include:


  • Blueprint Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Pipe Systems Installation
  • Plumbing Codes and Standards
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Safety

Why Become a Pipefitter?

There are several reasons to become a pipefitter. The job outlook is good as this field is growing faster than most. 6 The median annual wage is higher than some other skilled trades. Best of all, they keep the public safe.

Additional Sources:

1 – Title: Welding Principles and Applications; Author: Larry Jeffus; Delmar Cengage Learning; Seventh Edition; Textbook page 106
2 – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm#tab-2
3 – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm#tab-4
4 – https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/47-2152.01
5 – https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/career-planning-for-high-schoolers.htm
6 – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/plumbers-pipefitters-and-steamfitters.htm