Becoming a Steamfitter


For a strong-willed and strong-minded person who is eager to learn, good with their hands, and cool under pressure, working as a steamfitter is a fantastic way to go. Our members all take great pride in the scale and importance of the work that they do. We build big things that give us all the creature comforts that we enjoy every day. Other union members and contractors look on in amazement at the things we do.
Incredibly, you don’t need a college or associate’s degree to become a Steamfitter. We refer to Steamfitters Local 601 as the “Keepers of the Craft” because we teach these skills here, in our halls and on the job – and you won’t get this kind of training anywhere else other than a UA Steamfitters Union.
Not only can you have a highly lucrative career, but you won’t go into debt with student loans! In fact, you will be paid a terrific wage while you work for major employers, attend our apprenticeship training classes, and pick up important skills. After 5 years, if you meet the requirements you will graduate from our apprenticeship program and become a journeyman.
Steamfitters Local 601 members work on process piping systems. This work is covered by two separate classifications of a skilled workforce.

Construction – Steamfitters

The Construction Steamfitter industry focuses on the installation of process piping systems and covers various welding processes and other pipe-joining methods.

HVAC-Refrigeration – Steamfitters

The HVAC-Refrigeration Steamfitter industry focuses on the service and maintenance of process piping systems and covers various troubleshooting and electrical/pneumatic controls.



Often called ‘the special forces of the trades’ Steamfitters do work that is both physically and mentally demanding, which is why we are highly selective in whom we choose to train. Traits like teamwork, listening skills, punctuality, and attention to detail are incredibly important when you are doing work that would otherwise be dangerous – or deadly. Those chosen are often leaders in their personal circles.
Steamfitters work indoors and outdoors on physically demanding tasks that often require climbing, heavy lifting (over 50 lbs.), and strenuous physical stamina with walking, standing, and working in confined to elevated work areas. Operation of various hand tools, power-actuated tools, heavy equipment, welding machines, cutting torches, and other industry-related equipment and tools is required. Steamfitters work on various job sites, including new construction, hospitals, industrial, chemical, power, and wastewater treatment plants, and most other commercial or institutional buildings and residential sites. Project locations range from new or existing buildings and facilities to trenches, roofs, or tunnels. Further job site conditions include exposure to various weather conditions, job site amenities of portable toilets and wash stations, loud noises, dim or dusty environments, and even overtime requirements or shifted start times.


Steamfitters in a computer room
Three steamfitters working indoors on small pipes
a few steamfitters inspecting construction plans