Pipe Fitter (Steam Fitter) apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Pipe Fitter (Steam Fitter)

Table of Contents

Pipe Fitter (Steam Fitter) apprenticeship

DOT code: 862.281-022

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Lays out, assembles, installs, and maintains pipe systems, pipe supports, and related hydraulic and pneumatic equipment for steam, hot water, heating, cooling, lubricating, sprinkling, and industrial production and processing systems, applying knowledge of system operation, and following blueprints: Selects type and size of pipe, and related materials and equipment, such as supports, hangers, and hydraulic cylinders, according to specifications. Inspects work site to determine presence of obstructions and to ascertain that holes cut for pipe will not cause structural weakness. Plans installation or repair to avoid obstructions and to avoid interfering with activities of other workers. Cuts pipe, using saws, pipe cutter, hammer and chisel, cutting torch, and pipe cutting machine. Threads pipe, using pipe threading machine. Bends pipe, using pipe bending tools and pipe bending machine. Assembles and installs variety of metal and nonmetal pipes, tubes, and fittings, including iron, steel, copper, and plastic. Connects pipes, using threaded, caulked, soldered, brazed, fused, or cemented joints, and handtools. Secures pipes to structure with brackets, clamps, and hangers, using handtools and power tools. Installs and maintains hydraulic and pneumatic components of machines and equipment, such as pumps and cylinders, using handtools. Installs and maintains refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, including compressors, pumps, meters, pneumatic and hydraulic controls, and piping, using handtools and power tools, and following specifications and blueprints. Increases pressure in pipe system and observes connected pressure gauge to test system for leaks. May weld pipe supports to structural steel members. May observe production machines in assigned area of manufacturing facility to detect machinery malfunctions. May operate machinery to verify repair. May modify programs of automated machinery, such as robots and conveyors, to change motion and speed of machine, using teach pendant, control panel, or keyboard and display screen of robot controller and programmable controller. May be designated Steam Fitter (construction) when installing piping systems that must withstand high pressure. May be designated according to type of system installed as Pipe Fitter, Ammonia (construction); Pipe Fitter, Fire-Sprinkler Systems (construction); Pipe Fitter, Gas Pipe (construction); or type of piping used as Pipe Fitter, Plastic Pipe (construction); Pipe Fitter, Soft Copper (construction). May be designated: Airdox Fitter (mine & quarry); Freight-Air-Brake Fitter (railroad equip.); Instrument Fitter (construction); Maintainer, Sewer-And-Waterworks (construction); Pipe Fitter, Maintenance (any industry); Pipe Fitter, Welding (construction); Pneumatic-Tube Fitter (construction); Sprinkler-And-Irrigation-System Installer (construction); Tuyere Fitter (steel & rel.).

Work Process Schedule

Task Hours
A. Introductory instructions 100
B. Elementary tool practice 200
C. Air circuits 1000
D. Corrosive systems 1000
E. Gas systems 1000
F. Power plant 1000
G. Welding 200
H. Hydraulic 1000
I. Water systems 1000
J. Service calls and miscellaneous 1500
(Every 2,000 hours = one year) total hours: 8000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. The following is a general listing of instruction topics for this trade. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Training at (617) 626-5409.

First year
Division policies and procedures
Use and care of tools
Pipe materials; fittings, valves; hangers, supports and fasteners
Concrete boxes, curb and gutter fabrication
Cleaning and maintenance of drainage lines
Job safety and health; hazards prevention; traffic control
Soldering and brazing; use of fusion machine and other connectors
Oxy-acetylene cutting

Second year
Mathematics, formulas, pipe measurements
Rigging and signaling
Drawing - interpretation, technical drawing, isometric drawing
Basic Electricity
Shield, metal arc welding
Systems problems diagnosis and repair
Fabrication of grates, gates, and other structures

Third year
Excavation, backfill, leveling
Heavy equipment operation
Pipe installation
Compaction and beds materials
Valves, pumps
Division management

Fourth year
Blueprint and map reading
Line location
Establishing elevations; computing slope angles and calculating grades.
New construction
Drainage - sewage disposal and treatment; sewers and drains.

Additional Resources