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Become A Pipe Welder

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Working As A Pipe Welder

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $50,620

    Average Salary

What Does A Pipe Welder Do

A Pipe Welder lays out, welds, and repairs all types of pipe and similar tubular products in accordance with all applicable plans. They work in various settings, such as commercial buildings, power generation plants, and pipeline construction.

How To Become A Pipe Welder

Although most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn on the job through an apprenticeship, some start out by attending a technical school. Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required.

Technical schools offer courses on pipe system design, safety, and tool use. They also offer welding courses that are considered necessary by some pipefitter and steamfitter apprenticeship training programs.

Training

Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship. Each year, apprentices must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical education.

In the classroom, apprentices learn safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and blueprint reading. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry.

Apprenticeship programs are offered by unions and businesses. Although most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some start out as helpers. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. To enter an apprenticeship program, a trainee must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass a basic math test
  • Pass substance abuse screening
  • Know how to use computers

Some plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn on the job through specific task-oriented training. Employers provide training that enables workers to complete a variety of tasks. The Home Builders Institute offers a pre-apprenticeship training program for eight construction trades, including plumbing.

After completing an apprenticeship program, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are considered to be journey workers, qualifying them to perform duties on their own.

With additional technical education and several years of plumbing experience, plumbers are eligible to earn master status. Some states require a business to employ a master plumber in order to obtain a plumbing contractor’s license.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed. Although licensing requirements vary, most states and localities require workers to have 2 to 5 years of experience and to pass an exam that shows their knowledge of the trade and of local plumbing codes before they are permitted to work independently.

A few states require pipefitters to be licensed. Several states require a special license to work on gas lines. Obtaining a license requires taking a test, gaining experience through work, or both. For more information, check with your state’s licensing board.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Plumbers who own their own business must be able to direct workers, bid on jobs, and plan work schedules.

Customer-service skills. Plumbers work with customers on a regular basis, so they should be polite and courteous.

Mechanical skills. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters use a variety of tools to assemble and repair pipe systems. Choosing the right tool and successfully installing, repairing, or maintaining a system is crucial to their work.

Physical strength. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters must be strong enough to lift and move heavy pipe.

Troubleshooting skills. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, pipefitters must be able to perform pressure tests to pinpoint the location of a leak.

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Top Skills for A Pipe Welder

Tig/StickGtaw/SmawSafetyEquipmentMIGFluxCoreFcawLayoutStainlessSteelPipeAluminumGmawNewConstructionHighPressureComboRefineryPlasmaArcCopperNickelSCHInconelSocketWeldsStructuralSteel

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Top Pipe Welder Skills

  1. Tig/Stick
  2. Gtaw/Smaw
  3. Safety Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Repair welds and assist pipe fitters Accomplishments Increase production by 10% Skills Used Tig/stick
  • Performed welding using GTAW/SMAW process.
  • Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
  • Assessed and assigned welding processes, pulse, mig, tig, and stick.
  • Stick & Flux Core weld on varies types of equipment and material.

Top Pipe Welder Employers

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Pipe Welder Videos

Pipeline Welding - A Day On The Hot Pass

Pipeline Welding - Fill and Cap - Complete Setup

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