Pipe Welder

Pipe Welder

You’ll help weld tubes and pipes to high-quality standards on a pipe welder apprenticeship course. A pipe welder welds tubes and pipes using hand arc welding methods to ensure high quality and integrity.

As an apprentice, you must be able to weld in at least four different material groups and master at least two arc welding techniques.

This is because each welding procedure necessitates significantly diverse welding equipment, assemblies, controls, skills, and methods, and each material type necessitates distinct controls and approaches to create a successful weld.

For example, using tungsten inert gas and a manual metal arc, you might learn how to weld carbon steel, low alloy steel, austenitic stainless steel, and nickel alloy materials together.

Pipe welders must continuously examine and change their orientation to achieve the quality of work required by high integrity pipe systems, which demands significant hand dexterity and coordination.

Your work will be reviewed regularly to guarantee consistency in welding quality.

What you’ll learn

On a pipe welder apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Before starting work, plan all preparatory activities, interfaces, and pipe welding activities.
  • Obtain, organise, and assemble each operation’s welding and safety equipment.
  • Inspect the to-be-welded assembly and make any necessary corrections to bring it up to specification or implement quality control procedures if it is rejected.
  • Set, test, and monitor key welding parameters according to the Welding Procedure Specification, and make changes as required to accommodate changing orientation as the weld progresses around the pipe joint.
  • Install purge protection and monitoring systems in the pipe bore.
  • Set up bore side protection devices to keep foreign particles out of the pipe bore.
  • Meet international standards for dimensional, surface, and volumetric inspection, such as ISO 5817, ISO 9606, ASME IX, and ASME B31.3 (e.g. Radiography, Ultrasonic inspection Time of Flight and Phased Array methods).
  • Use authorised diagnostic methods and techniques to resolve problems in a timely and efficient way within their area of employment.
  • Complete the required documentation throughout the relevant stages of the work activity using the stated recording techniques.
  • Produce pipe welds that cover all the pipe welding sites provided. These are Horizontal – Fixed Vertical Pipe; Vertical Weld – Fixed Horizontal Pipe (either uphill or downward movement); Inclined – Fixed 45 degree Pipe Overhead (either upward or downward progression)
  • Produce pipe welds continually by altering the orientation of the welder, welding flame, and welding consumable filler, even with restricted access.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Depending on the employer, but likely GCSEs or equivalent qualifications or relevant experience.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment comprises three distinct assessment methods: 

  • Multiple-choice knowledge test
  • Professional Discussion supported by a portfolio
  • Practical Skills Test

Duration and level

  • Duration: 48 months
  • Level: 3 – Advanced Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 3 Pipe Welder Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on November 24, 2022

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