Whether an apprentice or a journeyman, your career as a pipefitter can take you around the town or around the world. Working with pipe systems on nuclear plants, in oil fields, or in commercial buildings can offer you career experiences that are both interesting and satisfying. However, if you're experiencing stagnation or a feeling that you could be doing more for your pipefitting lifestyle and career, consider these options.
Pick Up Additional Skills
Just as in other industries, the more skills you've got, the more employable you are. To make yourself a work candidate that would be valuable to any employer, you may want to increase your knowledge of various skills. You might even explore more education that will grant you additional certifications. For example, welding is closely related to pipefitting; in fact, many people in the field can do both. Getting a welding certification could bump your pay and expand career possibilities.
Join a Union
Pipefitter unions can be valuable to your career. Not only can you often find job listings that aren't open to those outside the union, but you can also experience other benefits. A good pipefitters union will help you with training so that you can seek higher-paying jobs, for instance. With the union's help, you might also be able to find better apprentice positions with high profile companies that will keep you on until you become a journeyman. If there are workplace problems or issues that you don't feel you can resolve on your own, the union representative, often called a shop steward, will step in on your behalf until things are fixed.
Of course, your union membership could also earn you a variety of work and lifestyle discounts and memberships. This can permit an even more stable life both in and outside of career. If you plan freelance or contract work will make up the bulk of your career, you could very well use available union-affiliated health insurance plans that will grant you insurance instead of individual companies.
Use Online Forums
Online forums administrated by your union or other groups can be fantastic for networking and learning more about your field. If you're thinking about moving elsewhere, you might connect with other pipefitters who can describe the outlook for new apprentices or journeymen. If you're currently working and want suggestions or help with certain things, forum members can offer solutions or different views about what to do.
Your pipefitting career can bloom once you take more actions like these. Talking with pipefitters, joining a pipe fitters union, and accumulating more skills can reignite your passion for fitting work.