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Do You Have What It Takes to be a Pipefitter?

pipefitter smallThe month of October has been declared by the Governor as “Careers in Construction Month.” Do you have what it takes to join this well-paying and highly skilled industry?

Pipefitters work in the heavy manufacturing industry. If you enjoy laying out, installing, and maintaining piping systems that provide steam heat, power, water, hydraulic pressure, air pressure, and oil, this could be the job for you! Pipefitters bend, cut, weld, and bracket pipe; repair, pack, and adjust valves; and test installed equipment for leaks. If ensuring that piping systems meet government specifications excites you, then read further to see how you can join an industry and profession that will keep you challenged and engaged for years.

Pipefitter and Steamfitter

Working Conditions
Pipefitters work primarily in manufacturing plants and sometimes in shops. Conditions may be noisy, or warm or cold to extremes. Welding fumes and dust are often present. A pipefitter’s protective gear is cumbersome and heavy.

Wages (Average, State of Oregon, 2015)
Beginning apprentices start at 50 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase usually every six months, until the journey-level rate is achieved.
• Hourly: $34.47
• Annual: $72,441

Length of Apprenticeship
This apprenticeship lasts three to four years. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 hours per year of related training and a total of 6,400 to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Minimum Qualifications
Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.

Want more information? Check out Build Oregon!

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