Apprenticeship – Steamfitter

Steamfitter Apprenticeship includes Pipefitters. Steamfitters are typically Pipefitters who specialize in pipe systems that move liquids or gases under high pressure gain a general knowledge of a variety of metal and non-metal piping and their pressure capacities for use in high and low pressure piping. This includes but is not limited to working from ship plans and cutting openings in bulkheads, mezzanines, decks according to specifications and can includes sprinkler system, piping system evaluation, cleaning, fitting and testing of systems, 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.

Scroll down or click on the year to see an overview of the technical and skills training you will receive on-the-job as a Steamfitter/Pipefitter Apprentice.

Safety trainings and Additional Resources are listed following Year 4. Remember that before becoming an Apprentice in this trade you will need to have completed your Pipefitter Foundations Certificate at an accredited learning institution.

Year 1 > Year 2 > Year 3 > Year 4 > Safety and Additional Trainings > Additional Resources

Year 1 Overview

  • Arc Welding
  • Mathematics
  • OXY-Acetylene Welding and Burning
  • Pipes, Valves, and Fittings
  • Rigging
  • Safety
  • Science
  • Soldering and Brazing
  • Tools/Drafting and Blueprint Reading

You will also learn to demonstrate tack and bead welding, demonstrate routine maintenance on heating equipment and soldering and brazing tools, WCB basic crane operator hand signals, power Vices – perform routine maintenance, pipe threads per inch – determine number of from 1/8 inch and 12 inch pipe, materials and solders alloys, Code regulations

Year 2 Overview

  • Fire Protection Systems
  • Fuel Oil Systems
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Pipe Bending
  • Pipe Erection
  • Pipe Fabrication
  • Pumps
  • Special Purpose Piping

You will also learn to identify power plant and petrochemical piping codes, design a piping layout for a hot water heating system, install a hot water heating system and components, troubleshoot a hot water heating system, welding, pipe joining methods – demonstrate, fiberglass joint preparation and assembly, demonstrate calculations for heat loss, pump suction lift, pressure head conversions, calculate size for standpipes and common piping for various applications, wet sprinkler system troubleshooting, operations of various systems including pressurized systems, blocks and tackle safe operation, identify or describe fire protection systems and components – identify or describe types and use of templates.

Year 3 Overview

  • Combustion
  • Fluid Power, Hydraulics
  • Fluid Power, Pneumatics
  • High Pressure Steam
  • Low Pressure Steam Heating
  • Marine Piping

You will also demonstrate a knowledge of air conditioning equipment and controls, bc gas code parts i and iv, determine combustion analysis readings for gas fired equipment, demonstrate safety practices when working with natural gas, butane, propane and manufactured gases and propane liquid, the use of combustion analysis equipment to determine combustion efficiency, sized combustion air ducts and apply regulations relating to air requirements, describe the construction of an above and in-ground fuel oil tank and learn about water supply systems, hardness, and iron content of water supply, installation including all piping wiring connections, potable water systems, hydraulic systems, sizing thrust blocks, pneumatic system, boilers, steam heating equipment and steam traps, calculations relating to volumes, temperatures, pressure, expansion and contraction steam and condensation.

Year 4 Overview

  • Air Conditioning
  • Electricity
  • Gas Fitting
  • Industrial Piping
  • Instrumentation

Year 4 also includes but is not limited to identifying materials, components, and operations of air conditioning systems, calculating air volumes, heat content, heat losses, heat gains, and flows, psychometric charts, instrumentation operations, components, and testing procedures, drawing and labelling piping equipment, materials, and components in teamed systems, water and drain systems, fuel oil and gas fired systems, and lubricating oil systems, gas safety branch in BC, gas code regulations for gas installation, natural gas, propane, and liquid propane, gas piping system, combustion analysis equipment air requirements, orifices and calculate burner input, conversion burners , individual or multiple vents, gas pressure regulators solenoid and diaphragm valves, rod, and tube control, and combination control valves, electrical circuits and operation of related meters, troubleshoot electrical circuits, wiring schematic, various furnaces, boilers, heaters, stoves, and appliances.

Safety and Additional Training Years 1-4 with recertification as required

  • Shipbuilding Terminology
  • Services Maintenance
  • Pumping Procedures
  • Docking & Dry-Docking Ships
  • Procedures – Ship Repair and Installation of Piping Systems
  • Pipe Fabrication Shop Procedures
  • Rigging
  • oxyacetylene, arc, and gas-welding equipment
  • heating equipment and soldering and brazing tools
  • Wet Sprinkler and Water Supply Systems
  • Blocks and Tackle Safe Operation
  • Fire Protection Systems and Components
  • BC Gas Code Parts I and IV
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Boilers, Steam Heating Equipment and Steam Traps
  • Confined Space Procedures
  • Fall Arrest
  • Fire watch
  • Forklift
  • Hot Work Permit
  • Lock out
  • Man aloft procedure awareness and lock-out (military procedure)(not all shipyards)
  • Manlift
  • OFA #1
  • Overhead Crane Training (not all shipyards)
  • Respirator fit test
  • Spill response awareness and procedures
  • Torch Procedures
  • Liquid Tracking
  • QA Forms, apprenticeship final year (not all shipyards)
  • Shop Forms, apprenticeship final year (not all shipyards)
  • SMC Environment Policy
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Tagging, completing correctly for repair

Additional Resources


Available in your local or college/technical institute library

  • Individual Learning Modules (ILM’s) from your technical training.
  • IPT’s Pipe Trades Handbook ,IPT Publishing and Training Ltd., Edmonton Alberta. Phone 1-888-808-6763.
  • Fundamentals of Gas Utilization, (3rd Edition) by Dutton, pub. Centennial College Press. ISBN 0-9198-5235-1.
  • Crane and Rigging Manual, IPT Publishing and Training Ltd., Edmonton Alberta. Phone 1-888-808-6763.
  • Modern Hydronic Heating (2nd Edition) by Siegenthaler, pub. Thomson/Delmar Learning. ISBN 0-7668-1637-0.
  • Measurements and Calculations for the Trades, Skillplan

Union Links

  • United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters – Local 170
  • United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipefitters Industry, Local 324

Definitions & Information Links to Red Seal, Industry Training Authority and Accredited Learning Institutions are available on the lower section of the Apprenticeship Program home page.