What is a Pipefitter?


The following job description is a brief overview of some of the tasks often required in this occupation.  Generally, the Pipefitter is responsible for all aspects of installing and maintaining pipe systems, pipe supports, and related hydraulic and pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, and industrial production and processing systems.  Among other things, the job requires extensive training, a knowledge of system operation, and the ability to read and follow blueprints. 

A pipefitter journeyman (once referred to as a steamfitter), through his formal training and field experience, has a clear understanding of the theory, installation, and the practical application of steam systems.   This includes the installation of low and high-pressure boilers, boiler piping, steam piping, mechanical condensate systems, water feeders and cutoffs, and water level controllers.  Today's pipefitter installs refrigeration systems, process piping and equipment of every description, performs site work, and provides building and industrial maintenance, HVAC services and maintenance, and building automation in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of the marketplace.

Moreover, the pipefitter is qualified to work in nuclear power plants, perform work on process plumbing systems and their appurtenances, as well as, hydronic systems (such as one-pipe, two-pipe, three and four-pipe systems, primary-secondary systems, hot water boilers and their safety devices, panel systems, and solar heating systems).

The ability to assemble industrial piping modules, high pressure piping systems, food grade, and high purity systems is dependent upon the skills and abilities of the welder.  The pipefitter apprentice undergoes a thorough and technically advanced welding program.  When completed, Local #562 welders are issued welding certifications that are recognized throughout the United States and Canada, enabling the certified welder to perform x-ray and code welding.