What Does A Steamfitter/ Pipefitter Do?

Steamfitter-pipe fitters (307A) lay out, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair piping systems carrying water, steam, chemicals and fuel in heating, cooling, lubricating and other process piping systems. The NOC code for this trade is: 7252.

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Construction sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/construction.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints and specifications to determine the type of pipe and tools to use, and lay out and plan the sequence of tasks
  • Making detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation when necessary
  • Cutting openings for pipe in walls, floors and ceilings using hand or power tools or machines
  • Measuring, cutting, threading, grooving, bending, soldering assembling and installing metal, plastic and fibreglass pipes, valves and fittings
  • Welding, brazing, cementing, soldering and threading joints to join pipes and fabricate sections of piping systems
  • Working independently on careful and exacting work

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

You should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 9,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification.

What’s Your Future as a Steamfitter/ Pipefitter

Steamfitter-Pipe fitters work both indoors and outdoors at physically demanding tasks that often require climbing and heavy lifting (over 25 kilograms). Most workers in this trade work full-time with overtime sometimes necessary to meet construction deadlines. There is always the risk of injury working around heavy equipment, with power tools, on scaffolding or in and around trenches. Experienced Steamfitters may advance to supervisory positions such as foreman, sub-contractor, contractor and construction superintendent. With additional training, they can also transfer their skills to occupations such as plumber and welder. Employers that hire Steamfitter/Pipe fitters include:

  • Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning construction firms
  • Mechanical Construction firms
  • Pulp and Paper companies
  • Primary Steel producers
  • Electric Power companies
  • Motor Vehicle manufacturers
  • Residential Building developers
  • Metal Fabricating companies

For additional information about this career, check out the construction sector website at: www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices generally earn less than fully qualified Journey people
  • As your skills and expertise increase, so does your wage
  • Fully qualified Steamfitter/Pipe fitters earn in a range of $17-39/hour depending on what geographic area they live in


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Steamfitter/Pipe fitter for You?

Do you enjoy working independently to get the job done just right?

Yes      No

Do you have the physical strength and stamina to lift heavy materials and stand for long periods?

Yes      No

Is it easy for you to read and understand complex instructions?

Yes      No

Can you look at a blueprint or diagram and visualize how things come together?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with your hands using a variety of power tools?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy keeping up with and learning about new technology?

Yes      No

Can you work at heights or in confined spaces?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Steamfitter/ Pipefitter may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Plumber
  • Welder
  • Sprinkler & Fire Protection Installer
  • Hoisting Engineer


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