Finding the Right Fit Qualified pipefitters are in constant demand

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email


Brazoria County and southeast Texas are currently undergoing industrial growth in the petrochemical industry and, with that, comes a demand for qualified pipefitter craftsmen.

Pipefitters fabricate, install and repair piping or tubing systems that convey liquid, gas and occasionally solid materials, and are generally employed in the petroleum, chemical and power industries. Brazosport College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science in industrial and commercial pipefitting, as well as a choice of short-term certificates.

“The pipefitting program at Brazosport College offers students training in all facets of the pipefitting trade, which prepares them for entry-level journeymen in industry,” said Horace Buchanan, Brazosport College professor of industrial and commercial pipefitting. “With classroom and hands-on training, students are more valuable to their employers and themselves.”

Due to the large number of plants in southeast Texas, pipefitting graduates have continued successfully in this industry as journeymen pipefitters, supervisors, pipe designers and pipe draftsmen. Job opportunities are on the rise since many people working in the pipefitting industry are expected to retire over the next 10 years.

“Having something to show you have undergone a specific training is important,” Buchanan said. “Industry recognizes that certificates and degrees have value when hiring.”

Career Facts


Pipefitters play a major role in the construction and maintenance of plant site systems. Pipefitters fabricate, install and repair piping or tubing systems that convey liquid, gas and occasionally solid materials.

Who is a good fit?

A pipefitter has an assortment of skills, including knowledge of design, construction, machines, tools and design, among others. Pipefitters usually have strong visualization and critical thinking skills, as well.


Most pipefitters have some college training, a certificate or an associate degree. Brazosport College emphasizes hands-on classroom training and provides individual attention. Short-term certificates are available, as well as a two-year degree. The best jobs typically go to those with the greatest skills and advanced training.

Median pay

$24.12 hourly, $50,000 annual

Job outlook

Job opportunities are expected
to grow by 8.9 percent over the next four years. Fourteen percent of pipefitters are over the age of 55 and will probably retire soon.

Source: Career Coach

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email