Licensing laws for pipefitters vary from state to state. While Texas does not require pipefitters to obtain a license, those who also handle plumbing jobs will need official licensing in order to legally work in the state. In addition, there are specific study requirements for those who want to obtain a journeyman pipefitter license.
Prepare by Getting Training
Pipefitting is a skill that is often learned via an apprenticeship; however, there are advantages to attending technical school. While on-the-job training is important, technical school provides a solid foundation in basic skills as well as opportunities to work with a variety of cutting edge tools and equipment. Courses taken at an accredited educational institution can substitute up to one year of apprenticeship training.
Technical schools also offer services that apprenticeships do not provide. These include financial aid, student housing and career placement services. Obtaining a certificate from an accredited vocational school may also make it easier to find a good job.
Subjects that you can expect to find in a vocational training program depend on your chosen area of specialization, but typically include:
- Installing gas pipes, oxygen pipes, steam pipes and fire sprinkler systems
- Repairing pipes and fixtures
- Understanding state and local building codes
- Learning how to create blueprints
- Testing existing pipe systems
- Replacing worn parts on systems
Because the duties of a plumber and a pipefitter can be similar, it is a wise idea for any pipefitter who wants to work in Texas to obtain a plumber’s license. You can obtain a regular license by applying to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners and taking an exam.
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Topics covered include:
- Plumbing codes
- Texas accessibility standards
- Installing liquefied petroleum gas piping
- Plumbing license law and board rules
- Creating a fuel gas piping sizing chart, water pipe sizing chart, gas fuel appliance vent sizing chart and a drainage system pipe sizing chart
This license is beneficial in that it enables you to take on jobs that you would not be qualified to handle otherwise. Moreover, the average hourly wage for a journeyman pipefitter ranges from $18.11 to $40.79 an hour.
Texas requires that journeyman pipefitters/plumbers have either 8,000 hours of work experience or a combination of 8,000 hours of work experience and technical training. Journeyman pipefitters are also required to take the OSHA 30 course. This course is designed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and teaches safety practices for industrial workplaces. The next step is to take and pass the journeyman plumber’s exam. Topics addressed in this exam include:
- Waste systems
- Ventilation systems
- Natural gas systems
- Water systems
- Law and board rules
- Simple physics
Pipefitting Job Growth and Vocational Training
If you are looking for a hands-on occupation with plenty of job opportunities and decent wages, then pipefitting may be a good option for you. Job growth in this field is set at 21%, which is faster than average. Additionally, pipefitters in Texas earn a mean annual wage is $44,690, or $21.49 per hour.
Anyone who wants to work as a pipefitter in the state of Texas may want to consider a Pipefitting Training Program to increase your ability to obtain a license and a job with a good income.