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Summary Report for:
47-2152.01 - Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters

Lay out, assemble, install, or maintain pipe systems, pipe supports, or related hydraulic or pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, or industrial production or processing systems.

Sample of reported job titles: Pipe Fitter, Pipefitter, Welder, Steamfitter, Sprinkler Fitter, Equipment Service Associate (ESA), Machine Repairman, Journeyman Pipe Fitter, Millwright, Pipe Welder

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Plan pipe system layout, installation, or repair, according to specifications.
  • Inspect, examine, or test installed systems or pipe lines, using pressure gauge, hydrostatic testing, observation, or other methods.
  • Select pipe sizes, types, or related materials, such as supports, hangers, or hydraulic cylinders, according to specifications.
  • Measure and mark pipes for cutting or threading.
  • Attach pipes to walls, structures, or fixtures, such as radiators or tanks, using brackets, clamps, tools, or welding equipment.
  • Assemble or secure pipes, tubes, fittings, or related equipment, according to specifications, by welding, brazing, cementing, soldering, or threading joints.
  • Lay out full scale drawings of pipe systems, supports, and related equipment, following blueprints.
  • Turn valves to shut off steam, water, or other gases or liquids from pipe sections, using valve keys or wrenches.
  • Cut, thread, or hammer pipes to specifications, using tools such as saws, cutting torches, pipe threaders, or pipe benders.
  • Remove and replace worn components.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Hoists — Chain falls; Tirfors; Tuggers
Levels — Automatic levels; Laser levels; Pocket levels; Two-hole pins
Pneumatic grinders — Air operated grinders; Angle air grinders; Pneumatic pipe bevelers
Power grinders — Offset grinders; Pedestal grinders; Portable grinders; Stationary grinders
Screwdrivers — Flat head screwdrivers; Impact screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — AutoPIPE software; COADE CAESAR II; Pipepro Pipefitting software; Watter Hammer Software Hytran
Computer aided design CAD software — AEC Design Group CADPIPE; Pipe 2D software; ViziFlow software
Electronic mail software — Email software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel; PipingOffice software
Word processing software

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Skills

Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Abilities

Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

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Work Activities

Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 7 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Coppersmith; Pipe Fitter; Pipe Fitter; Pipefitting; Pipe Fitter - Sprinkler Fitter; Steam Service Inspector; Gas-Main Fitter

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
74   Some college, no degree
26   High school diploma or equivalent

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Interests

Interest code: RC

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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Related Occupations

47-2011.00 Boilermakers Green Occupation
47-2031.02 Rough Carpenters Bright Outlook Green Occupation
47-2111.00 Electricians Bright Outlook Green Occupation
47-2152.02 Plumbers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
47-2211.00 Sheet Metal Workers Green Occupation
49-9021.01 Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9044.00 Millwrights Green Occupation
49-9051.00 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers Green Occupation
49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9092.00 Commercial Divers Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.
Employment data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.
Industry data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.

Median wages (2012) $23.62 hourly, $49,140 annual
Employment (2012) 387,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 130,500
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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