Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and Sprinkler System Installers

(NOC 7252)

in All Trades and Transportation

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. Sprinkler system installers fabricate, install, test, maintain and repair water, foam, carbon dioxide and dry chemical sprinkler systems in buildings for fire protection purposes. Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers are employed in maintenance departments of factories, plants and similar establishments, and by pipefitting and sprinkler system contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 55 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and Sprinkler System Installers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 28% of Steamfitters, Pipefitters, and Sprinkler System Installers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $71,931. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$14.50

Minimum

$32.00

Median

$44.88

Maximum

Annual Pay

$21,898

Minimum

$58,509

Median

$115,408

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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. Sprinkler system installers fabricate, install, test, maintain and repair water, foam, carbon dioxide and dry chemical sprinkler systems in buildings for fire protection purposes. Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers are employed in maintenance departments of factories, plants and similar establishments, and by pipefitting and sprinkler system contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

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

  • 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.

Sprinkler system installers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Read and interpret drawings, specifications and fire codes to determine layout requirements.
  • Install clamps, brackets and hangers to support piping system and sprinkler and fire protection equipment, using hand and power tools.
  • Select, measure, cut, ream and thread pipe, install sprinkler heads and mount prepared pipe in supports.
  • Join pipes and piping sections using soldering and welding equipment.
  • Connect piping system to water mains, supply tanks, pumps, compressors and control equipment.
  • Installs valves, alarms and associated equipment.
  • Test system for leaks using air or liquid pressure equipment.
  • Service and repair sprinkler system.
  • May prepare cost estimates for clients.

Sample job titles

  • journeyman/woman steamfitter-pipefitter
  • maintenance pipefitter
  • marine pipefitter
  • marine steamfitter
  • petroleum storage tank installer
  • pipefitter
  • sprinkler system installer
  • steamfitter
  • turbine pipefitter

Skills

This work requires a methodical approach, a mechanical aptitude, and an ability to plan ahead. You must be agile, coordinated, and capable of working in cramped and awkward conditions. Patience and the ability to follow instructions are important. You should also be able to cooperate and work well with others on large projects.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a four- to five-year apprenticeship program or 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 available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Sprinkler system installer trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified steamfitters-pipefitters and sprinkler system installers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

820

employed in 2016

95.1%

employed full-time

3.0%

self employed

2.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.1

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

34.8%

Cape Breton

32.6%

Halifax

18.5%

Northern

9.9%

Annapolis Valley

4.7%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

47.9%

Construction

12.1%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

7.3%

Other Services

6.7%

Manufactured Mineral Products

5.5%

Support for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction

What is the age of Employment?

29.7%

25-34

21.2%

35-44

14.9%

45-54

14.0%

55-64

12.6%

15-24

7.7%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

55.5%

Trades certificate

$47,412 median annual income
29.5%

College certificate or diploma

$45,940 median annual income
9.3%

High school

$34,447 median annual income
2.6%

Less than high school

$15,032 median annual income
2.2%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Pipefitting/pipefitter and sprinkler fitter

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to design, install, and test industrial and commercial piping systems and automatic fire and exposure protection systems. These programs include courses in water systems, steam systems, heating and cooling systems, lubricating systems, piping materials, installation tools operation and maintenance, valve installation and repair, technical mathematics, blueprint interpretation, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

UA 56 Pipe Trades Career College Inc.

40 Neptune Crescent

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4R8

(902) 442-0120

Plumbing technology/plumber

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to practice as licensed plumbers by applying technical knowledge and skills to lay out, assemble, install, and maintain piping fixtures and systems for steam, natural gas, oil, hot water, heating, cooling, drainage, lubricating, in home and business environments. These programs include courses in source determination, water distribution, waster removal, pressure adjustment, basic physics, technical mathematics, blueprint reading, pipe installation, pumps, welding and soldering, plumbing inspection, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Petroleum Storage Tank Installer

Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Environment
PO Box 442
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8
(902) 424-3600
(902) 424-0503
Sprinkler System Installer

Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
Steamfitter/Pipefitter

Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.