High school’s almost over. What will you do next?
If college doesn’t sound like the right fit, think about a career in the skilled trades.
What could it hold in store for you?
Take a look at the pipefitter career path and pipefitter training requirements in Jacksonville, Florida, for a better idea.
Why Train to Become a Pipefitter in Florida?
Florida is one of the top 5 states in the U.S. with the highest number of employed plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters.1 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Florida had 23,800 pipefitters working in the state as of May 2021.1
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Is Pipefitter a Good Career?
Pipefitters install and maintain industrial pipes used in commercial, manufacturing and industrial settings. They may work on pipes in places like power plants or large office buildings.
Job duties may include preparing cost estimates, studying blueprints and building codes, gathering materials, inspecting piping systems and fixing, installing or replacing piping as needed.
Like any career, pipefitting is going to be really great for some people and not the best fit for others. Pipefitters who enjoy their chosen career path generally have a few traits in common.
If you have these personality traits, then pipefitter could be a good career for you:
Physical Strength and Stamina
You may be expected to lift 40-50 pounds on the job. But, if you feel like it would cause you injury, there are usually other people on the team who can help, and there are usually forklifts or other machinery available to transport heavy items.
The important thing to know is that pipefitters generally don’t mind being on their feet all day doing physical, hands-on, skilled labor in different types of work environments, from outdoors to factories. If this sounds good to you, then pipefitter could be a good career.
Pipefitters use all sorts of tools and machinery to complete their work on piping systems. If you have a good head for how mechanical parts fit together and you enjoy learning new technical skills, then pipefitter could be a good career fit.
Pipefitting is a physical job, but it also requires a good head on your shoulders to diagnose, troubleshoot and solve piping problems.
Part of the job of a pipefitter is to repair broken or malfunctioning systems, and also to set up and test new systems. This part of the job can be very diverse and satisfying for people who enjoy solving complex problems.
Even though pipefitting is not necessarily a customer-facing service job, such as retail or food service, some people skills are necessary. Pipefitters may need to communicate well within a team, such as planning work schedules, bidding on jobs and doing customer intake.
For pipefitters who desire to eventually move into a supervisory position, communication skills are especially important.
Motivation and Willpower
Pipefitting can at times be physically uncomfortable, depending on the type of job, while other times it can be a walk in the park.
Pipefitting is most often a full-time construction job, so people who have a strong work ethic combined with motivation and a strong will to succeed may thrive in this career path.
Pipefitters may need to withstand some temporary physical discomfort at times, such as sweating outdoors or dealing with chemicals. In return, many pipefitters enjoy good pay and benefits.
Of course, every individual person’s career path is going to be unique for him or her. So if you are graduating high school and not sure about your next steps, or if you are someone thinking about making a career jump, it’s good to know what kind of work pipefitters really do to see if it would be a good fit for you.
Talking to people in the industry can help you get an idea of what the day-to-day work is like. You can call a team member at Tulsa Welding School (TWS) for more information about whether this career path might be right for you: 1-855-806-4921. The TWS campus at Jacksonville offers a Professional Welder with Pipefitting training program taught by pipefitting industry professionals.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Pipefitter?
While a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for a pipefitting job, it might be the only official academic requirement. The most important qualification to be a pipefitter is simply having the right pipefitter skills to perform the job.
All pipefitters need to learn the trade from experienced professionals. This may take different forms for different people, but generally may consist of a combination of a few different elements:
- High school diploma or GED
- Driver’s license
- Vocational or technical pipefitter training
- A 4- or 5-year paid apprenticeship
- Welding courses
- On-the-job training
- Passing any professional exams (as needed or desired)
- Obtaining 3rd party certification (as needed or desired
- Complying with all state and local licensing laws
All contractors in Florida need to be licensed. The Construction Industry Licensing Board oversees all construction licenses in the state, including plumbing and pipefitting.
Pipefitters who own their own business inFlorida will need to contact the licensing board to determine eligibility for licensing as a “plumbing contractor.”8 Once eligible for a license, you would need to send in an application with all associated fees, take the corresponding exam and make sure to comply with all continuing education and renewal laws.
In Florida, there are two types of contractor licenses: “Certified” and “Registered.”
The difference is that a “Registered” license allows you to work only in the state or jurisdiction where you have the license, while “Certified” allows you to work anywhere in the state.
Be sure to check your updated local and state laws when you’re ready to apply for a pipefitting license.
Start Your Pipefitter Training in Jacksonville, Florida, with TWS
Pipefitter training can be an important step in the career journey of a pipefitter. Not only can you learn the welding skills some apprenticeship programs require in a trade school pipefitting program but also how to use common pipefitter tools, design pipes and stay safe on the job, notes the labor department.
Tulsa Welding School’s pipefitter training program in Jacksonville, Florida, offers instruction the following areas:
- Welding Fundamentals
- Structural Welding
- GMAW/FCAW Processes
- Basic Pipe Welding
- Advanced Pipe Welding
- Introduction to Pipefitting
- Welding Capstone
- Pipefitting Essentials
- Pipefitting I and II
Students of TWS’ pipefitter training program in Jacksonville, Florida, receive an extensive gear package, so they graduate with some essential pipefitter tools.
TWS Jacksonville partners with construction industry employers across the country. You can count on the trade school’s Career Services team to help you take advantage of these opportunities upon graduation.
If you’re interested in enrolling in TWS’ welding and pipefitter training program, but want to know more first, Take a Virtual Tour of the campus. See what walking around the campus, classrooms, labs and shop floor could feel like. Take Your Virtual Tour of TWS Jacksonville Now.