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NCCER Pipefitting Courses


There are some who may consider pipefitting synonymous with plumbing, but these are really two very distinct trades. Plumbers install and repair the water, waste disposal, drainage and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Pipefitters, on the other hand, install and repair both high- and low-pressure pipe systems used in manufacturing, in the generation of electricity, and in the heating and cooling of buildings. NCCER offers a four-level Pipefitting curriculum that covers topics such as Threaded Pipe Fabrication, Excavations, and Steam Traps.


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Pipefitting Level 1

Module One: Orientation to the Trade

This module provides the trainee with an overview of pipefitting, pipefitter responsibilities, and career
opportunities. The module also covers basic principles of safety. (Module ID 08101-06; 5 hours)

Module Two: Pipefitting Hand Tools

This module covers general hand tool safety and procedures for identifying, selecting, inspecting, using,
and caring for pipe vises and stands, pipe wrenches, levels, pipe fabrication tools, and pipe bending tools. (Module ID 08102-06; 20 hours)

Module Three: Pipefitting Power Tools

This module identifies the hazards and explains general safety procedures that must be followed when
using power tools, and explains specific guidelines for using electric and pneumatic power tools. (Module ID 08103-06; 15 hours)

Module Four: Oxyfuel Cutting

This module explains the safety requirements for oxyfuel cutting. It identifies oxyfuel cutting equipment
and setup requirements. It explains how to light, adjust, and shut down oxyfuel equipment. Trainees will
perform cutting techniques that include straight line, piercing, bevels, and washing. (Module ID 08104-06; 17.5 hours)

Module Five: Ladders and Scaffolds

This module covers hazards and general safety procedures governing the use of stepladders, straight
and extension ladders, fixed scaffolds, and rolling scaffolds. (Module ID 08105-06; 12.5 hours)

Module Six: Motorized Equipment

This module explains the applications, proper use, and safety considerations for using engine-driven
generators, welding machines, air compressors, pumps, forklift trucks, and hydraulic cranes. (Module ID 08106-06; 10 hours)

Pipefitting Level 2

Module One: Piping Systems

This module introduces chemical, compressed air, fuel oil, steam, and water systems and explains how
to identify them by color-code. It also explains thermal expansion of pipes and pipe insulation. (Module ID 08201-06; 5 hours)

Module Two: Drawings and Detail Sheets

This module introduces the trainee to plot plans, structural drawings, elevation drawings, as-built
drawings, equipment arrangement drawings, P&IDs, isometric drawings, spool sheets, and detail sheets. (Module ID 08202-06; 15 hours)

Module Three: Identifying and Installing Valves

This module identifies and provides installation methods for different types of valves. It also covers
valve storage and handling. (Module ID 08203-06; 20 hours)

Module Four: Pipefitting Trade Math

This module explains how to use ratios and proportions, solve basic algebra, area, volume, and
circumference problems, and solve for right triangles using the Pythagorean theorem. (Module ID 08204-06; 15 hours)

Module Five: Threaded Pipe Fabrication

This module describes the materials used in threaded piping systems. It explains how to determine pipe
lengths between threaded pipe fittings, prepare the pipe and fittings for fit-up, and assemble the piping
system. (Module ID 08205-06; 15 hours)

Module Six: Socket Weld Pipe Fabrication

This module describes the materials used in socket weld piping systems. It explains how to determine
pipe lengths between socket weld fittings, prepare the pipe and fittings for fit-up, and fabricate socket
weld fittings. (Module ID 08206-06; 25 hours)

Module Seven: Butt Weld Pipe Fabrication

This module describes the materials used in butt weld piping systems. It explains how to determine pipe
lengths between butt weld fittings, prepare the pipe and fittings for fit-up, and fabricate butt weld
fittings. It also describes how to select and install backing rings, fabricate channel iron welding jigs, and
use and care for welding clamps. (Module ID 08207-06; 37.5 hours)

Module Eight: Excavations

This module explains the use of shoring materials per OSHA standards and covers shoring systems,
installing a hydraulic vertical shore, determining the overall fall of a sewer line, setting the grade and
elevation of a trench, and backfilling. (Module ID 08208-06; 10 hours)

Module Nine: Underground Pipe Installation

This module explains pipe installation procedures and guidelines, including the procedures for cast iron,
ductile iron, concrete, carbon steel, fiberglass, and thermoplastic pipe. It includes an introduction to
horizontal directional drilling for pipe installation. (Module ID 08209-06; 20 hours)