Today's industrial economy is creating numerous employment opportunities for well qualified workers, including pipefitters.
The North American industrial economy has been experiencing a resurgence after a few down years during the economic recession of the late 2000s. New machine tools are more complex than ever before, which means that there need to be qualified workers responsible for their installation, maintenance and repair.
More and more jobs are returning to American shores after previously being outsourced to other parts of the world. As a result there is a growing need for companies to either build new facilities, or repurpose old ones. Among the various systems needed in these new plants are piping systems that can help with the flow of fluids, steam, chemicals and other products that need to circulate throughout the facility. Despite the different operations in an industrial facility, the need for workers that can install and maintain the systems responsible for the transportation of these products is essential across sectors.
Employment growth strong
Pipefitters and steam fitters are poised to see impressive growth in employment opportunities through 2022, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the total figure for job growth across the U.S. is expected to grow at 11 percent between 2012 and 2022, the opportunities for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters will expand at an impressive 21 percent.
The government body noted that this growth will be spurred on by the construction of new power plants and factories in the country. Especially in industrial settings, there is a constant need to maintain and repair piping systems, meaning that employment can be quite consistent, even during economic downturns.
Obtaining the proper training
In both the U.S. and Canada, pipefitters need to be properly trained in order to meet the demands of industrial facilities. UA Canada, a trade organization representing those in the skilled trades employment field, noted that in order for a candidate to qualify for training in the field, he or she needs to be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 12 education.
Once these requirements are met, a prospective pipefitter needs to study under a qualified Journeyperson within the industry. These apprenticeships offer valuable experience on the job, providing hands-on experience and an opportunity to build one's skills. In the U.S., an apprentice needs to be at least 18 years old, and spend about 1,700 to 2,000 hours on the job, in addition to the required classes.
By pursuing the proper training, you could find yourself in demand for a position that is both lucrative and necessary throughout North America.