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Apprenticeship training course

Pipe welder (level 3)

Manually weld tubes and pipes to high standards of quality.

Qualification level
Equivalent to A level.
Typical duration
48 months
Apprenticeship category
Engineering and manufacturing
Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
Also known as
  • Class A welder
  • Coded pipe welder
  • Pipe welder
  • Pipeline welder
  • Pressure parts welder
Skills an apprentice will learn
  • Work safely at all times, comply with health & safety and environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements
  • Obtain, check and use appropriate documentation (such as job instructions, drawings, quality control documentation)
  • Plan all preparatory tasks and interfaces and pipe welding activity, before commencing work
  • Obtain, position and assemble welding equipment and associated safety protection needed for each activity
  • Prepare, check and protect materials and work areas ready for welding
  • Inspect the assembly to be welded and undertake remedial work to comply with specification, or implement quality steps if rejected
  • Receive, inspect, condition and maintain consumables
  • Set, test, and monitor key welding parameters as detailed within the Welding Procedure Specification and adjust as necessary to accommodate changing orientation as the weld progresses around the pipe joint.
  • Set-up purge protection within the pipe bore and associate monitoring methods
  • Set-up bore side protection controls to avoid foreign material ingress into the pipe bore
  • Remove materials using manual processes, including powered and non-powered equipment
  • Achieve a quality of work to meet international standards e.g. ISO 5817, ISO 9606, ASME IX, ASME B31.3 for dimensional, surface inspection (e.g. Visual, Magnetic Particle, Dye Penetrant) and volumetric inspection (e.g. Radiography, Ultrasonic inspection, including Time of Flight and Phased Array methods).
  • Monitor weld quality and dimensions throughout welding activity and on completion of welding and report any issues through organisational production / quality control process prior to release for formal examination by others
  • Restore the work area on completion of the activity and where applicable return any resources and consumables to the appropriate location
  • Deal promptly and effectively with problems within the limits of their responsibility using approved diagnostic methods and techniques
  • Complete any required documentation using the defined recording systems at the appropriate stages of the work activity
  • Produce pipe welds using two welding processes from TIG, PAW, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW
  • Produce pipe welds using four material groups from Carbon Steel, Low Alloy Steel, High Alloy Ferritic/Martensitic Steel, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Nickel & Nickel Alloys, Aluminium & Aluminium alloys, Titanium & Titanium Alloys, Copper & Copper Alloys
  • Produce pipe welds covering ALL defined pipe welding positions. These are Flat - Rotated Pipe; Horizontal - Fixed Vertical Pipe; Vertical Weld - Fixed Horizontal Pipe (either upward or downward progression); Inclined - Fixed 45 degree Pipe Overhead (either upward or downward progression)
  • Produce pipe welds in 3 main joint configurations from Single Sided Butt, Socket, Flange and Set-on Branch.
  • Produce pipe welds in by continually adjusting the orientation of the welder, welding torch, and welding consumable filler, including restricted access conditions
  • Produce pipe welds in restricted access conditions by welding with both left and right hands (e.g. boiler tube bundles, proximity of other plant and equipment, limited access locations, welds located with limited visibility of the weld joint)

Full information on Pipe welder (level 3) is available from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

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