Steamfitter Pipefitter

Steamfitters and pipefitters lay out, assemble, fabricate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair piping systems carrying water, steam, chemicals and fuel in heating, cooling, lubricating and other process piping systems. 

Education and Training

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.

  • Completion of a four- to five-year apprenticeship program 


  • A combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in steamfitting, pipefitting or sprinkler system installation is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.

  • Steamfitter-pipefitter trade certification is compulsory in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the territories.

  • Steamfitter-pipefitter (non-construction) trade certification is compulsory in Quebec.

  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified steamfitters-pipefitters and sprinkler system installers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

  • Apprenticeship training programs for steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers vary across Canada. For steamfitters and pipefitters, they generally involve four 12-month periods, including at least 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, four eight-week blocks of technical training and a final certificate exam. 

The Workplace

Steamfitters and pipefitters perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • Support the safe execution of work 
  • Install supports, valves, piping and control systems 
  • Read and interpret drawings, blueprints and specifications to determine layout requirements 
  • Cut openings for pipe in walls, floors and ceilings using hand or power tools or machines 
  • Select type and size of pipe required 
  • Measure, cut, thread and bend pipe to required shape using hand and power tools 
  • Weld, braze, cement, solder and thread joints to join pipes and fabricate sections of piping system 
  • Install supports, valves, piping and control systems 
  • Test system for leaks using testing equipment 
  • Clean and maintain pipe units and fittings and flush system 
  • Remove and replace worn components and reactivate system 
  • May prepare cost estimates for clients. 

    Skills for Success

    The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

    • Reading 
    • Communication
    • Numeracy 

      Sample Job Titles

      • Apprentice pipefitter-steamfitter 
      • Fire protection mechanic 
      • Fire sprinkler fitter 
      • Marine pipefitter 
      • Sprinkler system fitter 

      Companies and Sectors

      • Maintenance departments 
      • Factories 
      • Plants 
      • Sprinkler system contractors 
      • Self-employed