The job of a pipe fitter can be advanced and requires extensive preparation, with training both in the classroom and on the job. Once you have finished your pipefitting education, you’ll need to begin to look into the various means by which you can obtain a job.
These are the top five industries that employ specialized trained pipefitters. The expectation is that these industries as well as several others will continue to need additional fitters through at least 2022, according to information from the BLS.
Top Five Industries for Pipefitters 2012 – 2022
1. Building Equipment Contractors
Building equipment contractors work in the building equipment contractors industry. Usually, fitters work on large residential building projects where they lay piping coming into a building or a development. They also install piping runs throughout the building on both vertical and horizontal runs and vertical runs for housing developments. Pipefitters work on lines that carry natural gas, clean water, wastewater, and water for air conditioning systems – any piping to carry liquids throughout, to, or away from a building development site. Work performed by fitters in this industry includes:
- New construction
The annual mean wage for fitters in the Building Equipment Industry is $54,850.
2. Utility System Construction
Pipefitters who work in building utility systems are involved in constructing distribution pipelines that carry liquids and gases, which may include:
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In addition, fitters work on the structures that are important components of the utility system, including pumping stations, storage tanks, refineries, and power plants.
In this sector, the annual mean wage is about $51,730 for fitters.
3. Nonresidential Building Construction
Employment in this industry is similar to that in the building equipment contractors industry. Fitters working on non-residential projects work on office buildings, storage facilities, manufacturing plants, and chemical plants among other structures.
Pipefitters working on these kinds of construction jobs earn a mean annual salary of $52,780.
4. Local Government
Fitters employed by local governments generally work in the Public Works Department. Working in this setting, a fitter repairs or installs water lines and sewer lines, power lines, communication lines and other pipelines located under the streets or land easements.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average mean salary for a pipe fitter working for local government is $48,820. However, while the salary is a bit less than other industries pay for similar work, there is an offset in that benefits such as time off, pension and health care are more generous.
5. Natural Gas Distribution
Pipefitters who work in the natural gas distribution industry work for companies that pipe natural gas to the end-user – homes or businesses. Natural gas distributors have a series of pipelines and gas mains, usually below the street that carries the gas to the consumer.
Fitters install new pipelines and mains, repair, and keep up existing lines. They are among the highest paid pipefitters with a mean annual wage of $57,580.