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Steamfitter, Pipefitter and Sprinkler System Installer Spotlight

Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers can look at a large number of pipes, tubes, spools, fittings, brackets and flanges and figure out where they fit in the big picture. They then turn an assortment of metal pieces and pipes into a complex maze of functioning parts.

What a typical day looks like:

Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers work with tools such as saws, cutting torches and pipe benders to cut, thread, assemble and hammer pipes. Both Steamfitters and Pipefitters lay out, fabricate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair piping systems. Steamfitters specialize in pipe systems that move liquids or gases under high pressure in oil and gas facilities. Sprinkler System Installers add a knowledge of electronics to this skill set to specialize in sprinkler systems for fire protection.

These skills are needed at a variety of job sites for varying periods of time. New LNG export facilities, for example, can take up to five years to build, while faster-paced turnaround maintenance work can be completed in a few short weeks. With any job, there’s a lot of pieces – and it’s the job of the Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers to put them together with direction from blueprints and technical drawings. They work with the engineers who provide the blueprints and the welders who weld or solder pieces together. Once hydrostatic testing and inspections are complete, they know they have played a part in a job well done.

People in this field should expect to work in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers may find themselves crouched in cramped or awkward spaces. Typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry, Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers will need to move from project to project. Many construction and maintenance jobs are remotely located, so they’re required to be away from home, live in a camp and work extended hours.

The kinds of problems Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers solve at work:

Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers need to be able to combine a variety of different pipes, tubes, spools, fittings, brackets and flanges into a series that is functional, safe and fits the design. When a part doesn’t fit properly or the completed system doesn’t pass inspection, they need to inspect each piece to find out what can be changed to fix the problem.

Skills used most on the job:

Math skills are an asset to Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers, as they do a lot of measurements and calculations. They’re good at working with repairing machines and systems, general maintenance and are strong at problem solving.

Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers love a good puzzle. When they correctly fit all of the pieces together, then the liquids, steam and water can properly flow through oil and gas facilities.

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