Steamfitters assemble, install, alter and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, compressed air, liquids and gases required for processing, manufacturing, heating and cooling. They install piping and tubing made of carbon steel, copper, plastic, glass or other metals using a variety of processes including brazing, welding, screwing, gluing, bending and mechanical joints. Work includes installation of heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems.
Steamfitters work in industrial plants, chemical plants, refineries, power plants, waste water treatment plants, hospitals, and most other commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings. The indoor or outdoor work requires strenuous physical stamina with walking, standing, climbing, lifting and working in cramped spaces or in high areas. Steamfitters work in buildings, trenches, roofs, from scaffolding, on ladders and inside tanks. Safety training reduces hazards from exposure to chemicals, gases, fumes, loud noise and falls from ladders and scaffolds.
Classroom subjects include drafting and blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics and chemistry, and safety.