Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder Careers

How to become Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder

What does a Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder do?

Heating and ventilation fitters install heating, ventilation, air conditioning and extraction systems in all types of domestic, industrial and commercial buildings including homes, factories, hospitals, offices and shops. They install systems in new construction projects, and upgrade and repair systems in existing structures. Systems range from chilled water air conditioning and/or central heating to pipework for transportation of natural gas.

Fitting involves installation of boilers, radiators, pumps and pipework. Fitters and welders work to detailed plans and specifications which lay out where components should go, the type of pipework required and where joints and bends are needed. Fitters work with a variety of materials including steel, copper, iron and plastic, and they need to understand the properties and limitations of each.

Once the system is installed it must be tested before going into commission. Some fitters may be involved in setting up service and maintenance programmes for clients.

Heating and ventilation fitters work closely with ductwork installers who build or repair ductwork infrastructure within buildings. The role is also sometimes combined with that of refrigeration and air conditioning installation. For more details see Refrigeration / Air Conditioning Technician profile.

What's the working environment like working as a Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder?

Heating and ventilation fitters normally work a 39-hour week. However, overtime may be necessary and some positions include on-call duties.

Work is mainly indoors in new or existing buildings, but some work may be outside on buildings under construction. A large part of the work involves pipework installation, which often means working in cramped conditions. Some tasks include working from ladders or scaffolding.

Fitters move from one site to another, so a driving licence is usually required.

What does it take to become a Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder?

To be a heating and ventilation fitter you should:

  • have good practical skills
  • have a methodical approach and enjoy problem solving
  • have good numeracy skills for measurements and calculations
  • be able to follow detailed technical diagrams and specifications
  • be able to work in a team
  • be physically fit
  • have a head for heights
  • have good eyesight and normal colour vision
  • be aware of health and safety issues.

Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder Career Opportunities

Employers range from specialist heating and ventilation firms to large organisations such as local authorities and health authorities. Self-employment is a further option. It is also common for several fitters to work together for a firm as sub-contractors.

Promotion is possible to foreman/woman or site supervisor. It is also possible to undertake further study for Edexcel higher national qualifications. This would give access to degree level studies and employment as an engineering technician, contract manager or design engineer.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Heating & Ventilation Fitter/Welder that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Tel: 08000 688336

Energy Saving Trust
Energy Efficiency Helpline
Tel: 08080 100222

Oil Firing Technical Association for the Petroleum Industry (OFTEC)
Foxwood House
Dobbs Lane
Tel: 0845 658 5080

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