Pipe Fitter


What is a Pipe Fitter?

A Pipe Fitter is not a Plumber!

A Pipe Fitter is a specialised tradesperson who installs, maintains and repairs high pressure mechanical piping systems.  These systems are often found in aircraft, industrial plants and various marine vessels.

A Pipe Fitter has a deep understanding  (theory and practical) of these complex piping systems which includes various metal types, different pressure gauges and the complicated engineering of these systems.

Their working environment demands high pressures and extreme temperatures which requires extremely accurate engineering.

They may construct and maintain entire piping systems for:

  • Boiler systems
  • Refrigeration systems
  • Heating and ventilation systems
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Chemical and food processing systems
  • Brewers and distilleries
  • Paper mills
  • Gas refineries
  • Nuclear stations
  • Aircraft companies
  • Shipwrights
  • Pharmaceutical companies etc

What does a Pipe Fitter do?

  • reads and understands diagrams and piping plans
  • assembles pipes and fits pipes
  • welds, solders, cements and threads
  • checks and does routine maintenance
  • trouble-shoots and repairs problems

Are you …?

  • good with your hands?
  • good at mathematics?
  • engineering and mechanically inclined?
  • observant?
  • responsible?
  • safety-conscious?

How do I become a Pipe Fitter?

Most Pipe Fitters complete formal training. 

Some complete apprenticeship programs that provide comprehensive training.

For example:

  • WILBAT PROJECTS: Kwa Zulu Natal

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics


After successfully completing the course, students receive a certificate, enabling them to work in the trade for 4 years, thereafter they are able to  apply for their Trade Test at Olifantsfontein (INDLELA).


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Escalator/Lift Mechanic … or … Earth Moving Equipment Mechanic

Is becoming a Pipe Fitter the right career choice for me?