Those in pipewelding jobs weld and repair pipes that carry either gases or liquids to residential, commercial and industrial buildings. These skilled tradesmen use heat to melt and fuse pipes to create permanent bonds. They often use electrical currents to generate heat, though they may utilize other methods instead. They must possess mechanical skills, manual dexterity and physical strength in order to perform their jobs. Typical pipe welding job duties include:
Studying designs and specifications
Inspecting blueprints, pipes and associated parts
Using torches, power supplies and specialized tools
Pipe Welding Education Requirements
Pipe welders must hold at least a high school diploma or equivalent and may also pursue additional training at a technical school. These specialized schools teach highly skilled courses on pipe system design, welding, soldering and more.
In addition to this educational path, pipe welders learn and advance in their trade by completing an apprenticeship that lasts for four or five years. For each year of this program, apprentices are required to complete over 1,700 hours of training on the job, along with a certain number of educational hours. During this time, apprentices complete extensive on-the-job training and may eventually earn master status.
Pipe Welding Job Market
Through 2022, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects about 21 percent job growth for pipefitters, which is faster than average for all occupations. In 2022, the BLS projects employment in this field to include over 469,000 professionals, which is an increase of over 82,000 positions from the prior decade.
This job growth demonstrates the need for pipe welders' skills as this industry continues to expand rapidly. Niches such as efficient plumbing systems and cutting-edge power plants will allow those who specialize in pipe welding to further develop a lucrative area of expertise.
Pipe Welding Salary Information
The BLS indicates that the median wage for pipe welding jobs is about $49,000 per year. Those at the top 10 percent of the industry earn over $85,000 per year, while those at the lowest end of the industry earn under $29,000 per year.
Pipe welders who earn some of the lowest salaries are generally apprentices, who typically start by earning just 30 to 50 percent of a fully trained pipe welder's salary. As with other skilled trades, apprentices climb the ladder and earn more as they advance in their field.