Are you ready to start a career in pipefitting?
Pipefitters install and maintain pipes that carry chemicals, acids and gases as well as other liquids. These pipes are primarily used in manufacturing, commercial and industrial settings.
Some pipefitters specialize as gasfitters, sprinkler-fitters and steamfitters.
The demand for this job is steadily increasing so if you’re looking to go back to school and settle into a career in the trades, pipefitting is projected to be a lucrative career.
Keep reading to learn more about pipefitter job opportunities as well as some of the best pipefitter schools and training courses located across Canada and the US:
Career Opportunities and Employment Outlook for Pipefitters
All you need to become a pipefitter is a high school diploma (or equivalent) and certification through a trades school.
Most pipefitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship that includes 2000 hours of paid on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction.
Apprenticeship programs are offered by unions and businesses and, while most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some start out as helpers.
Employment for pipefitters is expected to climb by 16% by 2026, which is faster than average for trades work.
The median pay for pipefitters is around $51,500 per year or $25 per hour.
As a pipefitter, you will qualify for the following careers:
- Gas main fitters
- Industrial gas fitters
- Gas plumbers
- Hydraulic plumbers
- Marine pipefitters
- Solar thermal installers
- Water pump installers
Before you get started on your career as a pipefitter, it’s important to obtain a quality education. Here are some of the best schools for pipefitting training courses:
Pipefitter Schools and Training Courses - Canada
1. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
NAIT, located in Edmonton, Alberta, offers a course for pipefitters that will teach you how to make detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation, manufacture brackets and supports for assembled piping system and join pipe sections among other important skills.
Their apprenticeship term is 4 years with a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training each year and 8 weeks of technical training.
2. College of North Atlantic
The College of North Atlantic is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest skills training centers with 17 campuses located across Newfoundland and Labrador.
Their 35-week pipefitting red seal program will train you in repairing and maintaining pipe and steam systems while offering an extensive apprenticeship program.
3. Thompson Rivers University
In Kamloops, British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University offers a pipefitter course that includes foundational training along with an apprenticeship program.
Their course also includes a plumbing program.
Of course, once certified, you can find plenty of pipefitter jobs in Canada here.
Pipefitter Schools and Training Courses - US
4. Lee College
Lee College is located in Baytown, Texas, and offers a pipefitting course that runs for 3 months.
This program is based on the standardized craft curriculum developed by The National Center of Construction Education and Research and places emphasis on hands-on training using their equipped labs.
5. ABC School - Pelican Chapter
Located in Baton Rouge, LA, ABC Pelican is one of 69 chapters of a national construction industry trade association and offers a 2-year NCCER pipefitting program.
The course runs two nights per week and offers certifications from level 1 to level 4.
6. Emily Griffith Technical College
In Denver, Colorado, the Emily Griffith Technical College offers a pipefitting course and partners with a number of different unions and trade organizations to offer apprenticeship programs.
Through their apprenticeship program, you’ll gain experience through both coursework and on-the-job training.
Any one of these US based schools is a good option. Get certified, then find Pipefitter jobs in the US here.
Ready to Get Started?
A career in pipefitting is right around the corner!
Many colleges and training institutes offer pipefitting courses across the continent. Find the one that is right for you and get started on your new career.