Cut, measure, and install custom-fitted pipes.

What does a Steamfitter do?

Steamfitters specialize in pipes. They install, maintain, and create pipes and pipe systems of all kinds, building anything from a water or gas system in a house, to a network of heating and cooling pipes in a restaurant. The job of a Steamfitter is an important one in the manufacturing and construction industries, because pretty much every manufacturer or building owner will need a Steamfitter at some point.

Each job starts with a meeting with the customer, who tells you what they want and need for a particular job. Once you have a complete understanding of their requirements, you also give them a detailed explanation of what you’ll be doing. So good communication skills help a lot in this position.

Once your job responsibilities are clear, you get to work making the pipe system. You cut, bend, measure, cement, and connect pipes of all types, lengths, and widths. You might link together generic pipe parts, or create an entirely new valve using different welding and soldering techniques. After making the system, you want to test it. You use pressure, steam, and electronic software to make sure there are no cracks, and everything works as it’s supposed to. You also get the area around the system ready, keeping it clean and dry by putting down plastic or other protection. Then you put the system in.

To do this job, you need skill in interpreting building blueprints. These blueprints help you find the best place to insert the pipes, as well as the best way to get to that particular area. Pipes can be underground, high up, or in small spaces, so be ready for tight workspaces.