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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


£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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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
  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


You could do an advanced apprenticeships like:

  • engineering pipe fitter
  • engineering construction pipe fitter
  • 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


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 ECITB Careers and the Building and Engineering Services Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

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