gas fitters are the people responsible for making sure no gas escapes from your pipes. They work to find any leaks or faults that may cause gas and water damage, preventing harm to befall those in your home and surrounding areas.
How hard is it to become a gas fitter? You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications — all you need are a keen eye for detail, an attention to safety, and an interest in this blue-collar career path.
What is a gas fitter?
A gas fitter is a type of plumbing technician who works with natural gas. He performs various tasks, including installing and servicing pipes that connect to your home’s plumbing. This work requires an understanding of the physical and technical components of the gas piping environment, which can sometimes be dangerous due to the high-pressure systems involved. Gas fitters must also be aware of applicable regulatory codes and procedures, which involve many possible hazards as well as risks to people and property.
You may already have a career in gas fitting if you’re a plumber, electrician or building contractor.
What do gas fitters do?
Gas fitters install and repair natural-gas piping to your home or business. They connect appliances, such as water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners, to the gas system that supplies heat and energy to the house. Gas fittings are also used for exhaust systems and refrigeration equipment.
Gas fitting professionals install devices called pressure regulators and meters, along with control valves that regulate gas pressures and flow rates. They also install gas-fired appliances, such as boilers, furnaces and water heaters.
Does experience matter?
Not all gas fitters have the same skills. For example, some of them use specialized equipment and are trained in installing new piping systems for different applications. They also can perform specific tasks such as installing water heater piping, venting or repairing pipe connections and installations.
Where do they work?
Gas fitters work in municipal, industrial and commercial facilities, including homes. They also may be employed in factories and offices. Local gas companies and the general public are their usual employers throughout the country, but your home can qualify as a worksite where you can earn a living wage with good benefits.
What does it take?
Gas fitting professionals typically have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers also require them to complete a trade program.
Gas fitting is a licensed trade in most states, but apprentices often are accepted into their programs based on their technical knowledge and ability to perform the required tasks. Many of these programs take between 2 and 4 years to complete, so you may want to take advantage of online training offered by career schools or community colleges that can help you learn the skills and knowledge you need for this career.
Is there certification?
Certification isn’t required for gas fitters in all states. In either case, you can become certified through a state or national program.
What else should I know?
Gas fitters usually work on the premises of a home or company, which must be licensed and insured by the local gas utility. Those who work for gas companies are often required to wear safety gear, such as hard-toed work boots and safety glasses. Always consult local regulations when working with high-pressured systems, including natural gas and oil pipelines that run underground.