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A pipe fitter must assemble, install, maintain and repair pipe systems that can be used to carry water, fuel, chemicals or gases. Pipe fitters may work on systems in water treatment plants, factories or other industrial establishments. The best way to learn pipe fitting is to take classes and acquire an apprenticeship. Since you will supplement on-the-job learning with classes, you should have a high school diploma before you seek an apprenticeship.
Research pipe fitting programs at local community colleges. Typical coursework for pipe fitting includes math, blueprint reading, welding, heating, working with pipes, air conditioning, piping design and OSHA regulations.
Apply to the programs you identified. Take the required classes once you've been accepted into the program.
Speak with an admissions representative or pipe fitting teacher about arranging an apprenticeship. Someone at the school might be able to provide you with a list of organizations to contact about apprentice positions.
Search for apprenticeship opportunities if you have not found anything through contacts at your school. If you're already enrolled in classes, you may have an easier time finding an apprentice position since you are already learning some of the skills you need in class. Contact local unions, manufacturing plants, municipal water departments and heating, ventilation and air conditioning companies. These companies might be able to offer you an internship.
Work your apprenticeship. Typical apprenticeships for pipe fitting positions take four to five years to complete. After that, you will become a journeyman, which offers additional wages and benefits. Journeyman pipe fitters can take a test to receive a journeyman card. This card allows you to prove your work skills while traveling and receive maximum journeyman wages for your pipe fitting position.
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