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


£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


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


You can do an engineering pipe fitter or pipe welder advanced apprenticship.

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


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


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

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • planning how to do a job based on engineering designs
  • making or modifying parts in a workshop
  • assembling components ready for installation
  • installing and joining pipework using bolting and welding methods
  • carrying out planned maintenance checks
  • finding and fixing faults
  • responding 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

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a pipe fitter right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Performing Engineering Operations Level 1

  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Birkenhead

Level 1 NVQ Certificate in Performing Engineering Operations-Study Programme

  • Start date: 07 September 2020
  • Location: Norwich

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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