Within many large buildings, the fire protection system includes the overhead sprinklers that spray water and flame snuffing chemicals in the event of an emergency. The sprinklers installed in the building require plumbing and piping expertise to be fitted safely and correctly. It is the job of a sprinkler fitter to place the fire protection system within structures to protect the building and its occupants. Sprinkler fitter jobs can be found working for fire protection installation companies and companies specializing in heating and ventilation.
The construction of new buildings often requires the installation of a complete fire protection system that includes fitting sprinklers properly within the planned heating and ventilation piping. In addition to new construction, older systems frequently need to be repaired and replaced. General maintenance and testing of the fire sprinklers is often necessary as well. Sprinkler fitter jobs are available at every stage of installation and repair of the fire protection systems.
Individuals employed in sprinkler fitter jobs are usually responsible for keeping up with a variety of rules and regulations governing fire protection systems. Insurance companies and regional building authorities generally all have codes that must be followed to ensure the building will be safe should a fire occur. Usually, buildings have specific regulations that typically must be followed exactly in order for the structure to pass approval. As such, specialization within sprinkler fitter jobs may be available based on building type.
Sprinkler fitter jobs can generally be broken down into categories based on the individual's level of experience within the field. Apprentice fitters are considered in-training and receive an hourly stipend to work with experienced fitters to learn the craft. Depending upon regional professional standards, the apprenticeship period can last several years.
The next level of sprinkler fitter jobs is the journeyman classification of workers. Journeymen fitters have completed their apprenticeship training and can work independently and skillfully to install fire protection sprinklers. After spending a number of years as a journeyman, experienced sprinkler fitters can move up to training and supervising other workers as a foreman.
Once an apprenticeship is completed and some experience is earned as a journeyman, it may be possible for a sprinkler fitter to begin their own fire protection system installation business. Individuals can choose to work as consultants or as foreman who hire their own workers to install and repair sprinklers. In some regions, sprinkler fitter jobs are union based. The sprinkler installation industry is self-governed by professional organizations in most regions.