If you like to work with your hands at physically demanding tasks independently, you will enjoy a career as a steamfitter-pipefitter. As a steamfitter–pipefitters lay out, assemble, fabricate, main-tain and repair piping systems which carry water, steam, chemicals or fuel used in heating, cooling, lubricating and other processes.
To install a typical piping system in a commercial building or industrial plant, you will study blue-prints, drawings and specifications to determine the type of pipe and tools to use, and lay out the sequence of tasks. During your career you will sometimes make detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation, as required. You will measure, cut, thread, groove, bend, assemble and install metal, plastic and fibreglass pipes, valves and fittings, join pipe sections, re-lated equipment and secure in position, and use testing equipment to check systems for leaks.
You may also remove and replace worn components, do general maintenance work and may work on plant shut-downs.
This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.
Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or get training in our Pre-Employment Pipetrades program. You will work both indoors and outdoors at physically demanding tasks that often require climbing. As a steamfitter–pipefitters, you will likely be employed by pipeline construction contractors and sub-contractors, thermal or steam generating plants, manufacturers, utility companies, oil refineries, gas plants, pulp mills and chemical plants.
As a journeyperson, you will likely make a wage between $35 - $45 and hour depending on your employer.
After becoming a journeyperson, you may advance to supervisory positions or take on new apprentices. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.
Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the welding trade:
- Manual dexterity
- Mechanical aptitude
- The ability to read and understand complex instructions
- The ability to do careful and exact work
- A commitment to safe working conditions
Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Welders are a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.
Admission and Completion
To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.
Entrance Requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.
Successful completion of the following courses:
- English 20-2
- Math 20-3
- Science 10
A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:
- English 30-2
- Math 30-3
- Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
- Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
How to register
Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.
After you register
Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.
Apprentices in this trade will spend 4 years (four 12-month periods) of on-the-job training and technical training at SAIT. Technical training will be 8 weeks each year.
|Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice|
|Apply as an apprentice with AIT and your employer|
|Sign contract and recieve record book|
|Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts|
|Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend first period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete second period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend second period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete third period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend third period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Complete fourth period of on-the-job training (1560 hours)|
|Register at SAIT|
|Attend fourth period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT|
|Pass fourth period Trade Qualification Exam|
|Become a Journeyperson|
|Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam|
Technical Training Performance
To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.
Domestic tuition and fees*
|Period||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||Saitsa fees||Lab Material & Fee||2020/21 total|
Lab and material fee: $72
Student support fee: $25
Student technology fee: $25
Books and supplies*
- Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
- It is recommended that you do not purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.
- Personal Protective Equipment will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.
*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
Membership to the SAIT Wellness centre - including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetteball courts and eight room is available to apprentices at a discounted rate.
Financial planning tool
Our apprenticeship cost calculator can help you make a financial plan by identifying and adding up your expected expenses while attending SAIT — find out exactly how much money you need to save, seek or borrow to get you through your studies.