• Steamfitter Apprenticeship

    Facts about steamfitters: career, training, advantages, application, contractors, and earnings

Steamfitters are very similar to plumbers except they specialize in installing pipes and designing general piping systems, especially pipes that transport high-pressured or otherwise hazardous materials.

The Steamfitter Apprenticeship offers two different training programs:  Construction and Refrigeration/Service.  Both are five-year programs and require on-the-job training along with related instruction.

They fabricate, assemble, maintain, and repair piping systems that carry water, steam, compressed air, gases, and other fluids. This includes determining how the pipes will be routed, selecting proper types and sizes for the job, and cutting or threading the pipes. Steamfitters work everywhere from nuclear plants to breweries, schools, and hospitals.

Steamfitters (Construction) layout, assemble, fabricate, troubleshoot, maintain and repair piping systems which carry water, steam, chemicals, compressed air, liquids, gases or fuel used in energy production, heating, cooling, food processing, manufacturing, lubrication and other process piping systems.

Steamfitters (Refrigeration/Service) install, start-up, perform preventative maintenance, troubleshoot, diagnose and service heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, equipment, and controls in piping systems, which carry water, steam, chemicals, compressed air, liquids, gases or fuel used in energy production, heating, cooling, food processing, manufacturing, lubricating and other process piping systems.

The Steamfitter Apprenticeship Program offers two “earn as you learn” programs – “Construction” and “Refrigeration/Service”.  Both are five-year programs with 9,326 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of paid-related instruction.  No previous experience is needed.  A person wishing to enter this professional trade must be able to work under the direct supervision of a skilled Journeyworker.  They should also enjoy working with their hands.

The Steamfitter Apprenticeship Program requires 576 hours of paid-related instruction and approximately 340 hours of unpaid-related instruction for the Refrigeration/Service Apprenticeship and approximately 550 hours of unpaid related instruction for the Construction Apprenticeship.  Related instruction courses are completed during a normal Fall and Spring semester cycle.  Your paid-related instruction includes attending class for an 8-hour day, once a week, and you get paid your hourly wage by your employer while you are in class.  Unpaid-related instruction are evening classes that you take each semester throughout the apprenticeship.

  • Earn while you learn
  • Become self-reliant
  • College-level earning power upon graduation, without the costs of a college education
  • Obtain instruction by Journeyworkers of considerable stature and experience
  • Gain respect and recognition from co-workers as one progresses and becomes productive
  • Satisfaction of working with your hands and your mind in an increasingly technical and sophisticated industry
  • Receive training for a career – not just a job
    • Varied career opportunities: Owner, inspector, estimator, teacher, etc.
  • Freedom to take your skill and knowledge from one employer to another, to all parts of the country

Union Steamfitter Apprentices:

  • Equal pay for Men, Women, and Minorities
  • More likely to use best safety practices
  • Insurance/Retirement Benefits
  • Referral Hiring Halls
  • Training post-Apprenticeship

Attend a Trade Orientation and fill out an application with Steamfitters Local 601:

  • All Trade Orientations are hosted Steamfitters Local 601 Training Center at located at 6310 Towne Center Drive at 4:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Click Here for Information on How to Become a Steamfitter

For more information or questions, please contact Steamfitters Local 601 at 414-543-03601, press 1 for Union, or 2 for JAC Office

General Qualifications for Steamfitters Apprentices:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalency Certificate, and at least 18 years of age
  • Meet required minimums on Accuplacer Placement Test or ACT Test
  • Physically able to perform trade work
  • Valid driver’s license or reliable transportation
  • Take and pass a pre-employment drug test

This is a short list of contractors who train through the Madison Area Steamfitter Joint Apprenticeship Committee:

1901 Inc.
2801 Syene Road
Madison, WI  53713

All Comfort Services
5245 Voges Road
Madison, WI  53718

Hooper Corporation
6450 Pederson Crossing Blvd.
DeForest, WI  53532

IKM Building Solutions
4701 Tradewinds Parkway
Madison, WI  53718

J. F. Ahern Co.
3821 Anderson Road
DeForest, WI  53532

Johnson Controls
2400 Kilgust Road
Monona, WI  53713

5302 Voges Road
McFarland, WI  53718

The Waldinger Corporation
2401 Advance Road
Madison, WI  53718

Madison Union Steamfitter Wages
(thru 6/2/2024)

Steamfitter Pre-Apprentice
Taxable Wage                 $21.95
Health & Welfare          $9.75

1st Year Steamfitter Apprentice
Taxable Wage                   $25.79
Health & Welfare           $9.75
Pension Fund*               $7.34
*After 12 months or 750 hours, whichever is later

Steamfitter Journeyworker
Taxable Wage                  $54.87
Health & Welfare           $9.75
Pension Fund*                 $14.68

Madison Non-Union Steamfitter Wages
(as of February 2, 2024)
Skilled Wage Rate is $38.26