Pipe Fitter Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Pipe Fitter, or Pipefitter, installs and manages the upkeep of various pipe equipment and systems. Their main duties include reviewing plumbing system blueprints, fixing pipe and plumbing systems and ensuring pipes meet the proper specifications.

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Pipe Fitter Duties and Responsibilities

Pipe Fitters are responsible for installing or repairing plumbing, and the duties range from fabricating piping and materials to assembling systems and ensuring they’re running effectively and do not leak. Pipe Fitters may work on plumbing systems, heating and cooling piping, marine piping systems and more.

Outside of the manual labor associated with pipe fitting, they have many responsibilities, including:

  • Inspecting and repairing pipes running to related equipment, such as radiators and HVAC units
  • Providing estimates on the cost of parts and labor
  • Making recommendations about necessary repairs or changes to plumbing systems
  • Meeting with clients and/or customers to determine their plumbing needs

What Does a Pipe Fitter Do?

Pipe Fitters are welding and plumbing professionals who install and apply routine maintenance to buildings’ pipe systems and fixtures. They’ll inspect a work area to see if there are any potential damages or hazards that could affect potential pipe systems. Once inspected, they’ll clear any obstructions and will begin studying blueprints and planning where to place and install the pipe systems. 

As the Pipe Fitter installs and fixes the pipe systems, they’ll use different tools and equipment to measure and mark the tools according to certain specifications and regulations. When installing the pipes, they’ll be sure to secure them safely onto the walls and fixtures using tools like clamps, brackets and other welding equipment items.

Pipe Fitter Skills and Qualifications

Pipe Fitters must possess a wide range of technical skills related to their profession. For example, they must be familiar with all the tools needed to assemble, fit and repair pipes and their associated plumbing systems. Pipe Fitters need welding experience and must be able to customize piping systems to meet a customer’s needs. They must have experience with all components of piping systems, including brackets, clamps and hangers. Other important skills and qualifications for Pipe Fitters include:

  • Customer service skills, as Pipe Fitters must communicate with clients or customers on a daily basis
  • Technical skills to do their job accurately, including math and science skills
  • Physical capabilities, as Pipe Fitters work in a physically demanding field and must be able to fit into tight spaces

Pipe Fitter Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Pipe Fitter is $28.26 per hour. The pay may vary, though, depending on factors like the candidate’s experience and whether they’ll be working part- or full-time.

Pipe Fitter Education and Training Requirements

Pipe Fitters can find work with a high school diploma and apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship programs are typically paid roles where the apprentice learns the basics of the job under the supervision of a qualified Pipe Fitter. If you’re looking for candidates with a few years of experience, it’s important to list apprenticeship training as a requirement for the role. Some Pipe Fitters may also complete training through a trade school.

Pipe Fitter Experience Requirements

An entry-level Pipe Fitter may gain the experience they need through an apprenticeship program. During this paid training, Pipe Fitters learn things like how to cut and fit pipes so that they don’t leak, how to drill holes through walls and how to repair or replace fixtures. If you’re hiring a Pipe Fitter Journeyman or a Pipe Fitter with any prior experience, they should already have completed their apprenticeship.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

Pipe fitting is a highly technical career, so it’s easy to focus only on skills related to physically installing or repairing pipes. For a broader look at the skills you might include, check out our job description samples for a few similar roles:

Frequently asked questions about Pipe Fitters

 

Who does a Pipe Fitter report to?

Pipe Fitters usually work on a team together, so they’ll typically have Supervisors in charge of their assignments and performance. They’ll usually receive their daily tasks from their Supervisor before heading to the designated location to install and repair pipes. If the Pipe Fitters comes across any complex issues while on the job, they’ll usually report this to their Supervisor, who will approach and resolve the problem. 

Pipe Fitters often report to their Supervisors for any client updates and performance reviews. Their Supervisors may conduct one-on-one sessions with the Pipe Fitters to explain any areas to improve and to provide helpful guidance and tips regarding the role.

 

What settings do Pipe Fitters typically work in?

There are a majority of different settings Pipe Fitters may choose to work in. Many of them serve in power plants or industrial settings, installing and adding adjustments to the company’s pipe systems. Some of them may work for residential or commercial properties, visiting offices, apartment units or homes to inspect or install their pipes to help the sewage system run smoothly. 

Most Pipe Fitters will spend time traveling to different locations to regularly monitor and repair pipes in different areas. Because of this, Pipe Fitters should be able to move and remain on their feet constantly. 

 

What are the different types of Pipe Fitters?

Pipe Fitters can choose to pursue a more general career where they’ll work on a wide variety of plumbing and pipe systems. Others may choose to specialize in certain areas of pipe fitting. Pipe Layers typically spend a majority of their time outdoors laying pipes for different gas, chemical and oil companies. Sprinkler Fitters work primarily to install or repair fire sprinkler systems in various office buildings, apartment complexes and some residential properties. 

 

What makes a good Pipe Fitter?

Strong Pipe Fitters should have great physical stamina and strength to endure long hours of being hunched over piping systems or standing on ladders to reach pipes that are in higher areas. They should also have impressive dexterity to carefully use tools for long periods at a time. Pipe Fitters must possess a strong knowledge of and experience using the different tools needed to fix and measure the piping systems to ensure their safety and the effectiveness of repairs. 

It’s also important for Pipe Fitters to have strong attention to detail to better understand and notice any issues with the pipe systems. They must then use their problem solving and critical thinking abilities to find ways to fix these piping issues. 

Job Description Examples

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