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Pipe fitter

Alternative titles for this job include Pipefitter

Pipe fitters install industrial pipework, valves and pumps in factories, commercial premises and large buildings like power stations.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

46 to 48 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm away from home

How to become a pipe fitter

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

College

You can do a college course, which may help you to get a trainee pipe fitter's job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering
  • Level 2 Certificate in Welding
  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • Level 3 Diploma in Building Services Engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

The following apprenticeships are relevant to this role:

  • Level 3 Engineering pipe fitter
  • Level 3 Engineering construction pipe fitter
  • Level 3 Pipe welder

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You might start as an general engineering operative or engineering craft worker, and learn and train on the job to become a pipe fitter.

More Information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about pipe fitting from Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) Careers and the Building and Engineering Services Association.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • plan how to do a job based on engineering designs
  • make or modify parts in a workshop
  • assemble components ready for installation
  • install and join pipework using bolting and welding methods
  • carry out planned maintenance checks
  • find and fix faults
  • respond to emergency call-outs

Working environment

You could work in a factory or at a manufacturing plant.

Your working environment may be cramped.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

You could be promoted to supervisor or become an engineering workshop manager. You could also work in welding inspection and quality control.

With further training, you may have opportunities to move into insulation work, or engineering design where you'll draw up pipework installation plans.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Mechanical Engineering Apprentice (Level 3)

  • Wage: £9,975.00 Annually
  • Location:

Assembly Operator Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £15,366.00 Annually
  • Location:

Courses In England

Level 1 NVQ Certificate in Performing Engineering Operations-Study Programme

  • Provider: POULTEC TRAINING LIMITED
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Norwich

NVQ Cert Perform Engineering Ops L1

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Gillingham

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