Apprenticeship as a fitter

The job profile of the fitter – his skills are irreplaceable in all companies. For example, he installs electrical systems, supplies the house with water, takes care of ventilation and reduces the need for heating fuel. If one of the devices used in the process fails to work, he is on hand to repair it.

Tasks of a fitter

Pipe systems, electrical cables, water pipes – it is these accessories that accompany the daily work of the installer. Most often, he is already involved in the process of building a house. He plans all the required installations, organizes the materials needed for them and delegates the individual tasks to his employees – if he does not do them himself. The fitter’s organizational skills are considered outstanding: it is only when he coordinates his schedule with the other construction workers and tradesmen in the house that he can carry out his work without restriction. As a rule, the fitter is therefore already in close contact with the architect during the planning of the property.

But the fitter is not only irreplaceable during house construction. He can shine with his expertise in all types of lines, systems and equipment. Whether it’s laying sewage systems underground, working on an oil rig or irrigating agricultural fields – all these areas of work would be almost inconceivable if it weren’t for the fitter. He welds and screws where different materials have to be brought together to form a large whole. His day-to-day work is therefore comparatively noisy and dirty. Those who work here need physical and mental strength. It is not uncommon for assemblers to brave wind and weather. But without their performance, modern society would be almost inconceivable.

But it is not only the ability to work under pressure that is at the forefront of the job. Where there is heavy work to be done, it is often necessary to proceed very carefully and delicately. The fitter is a true master of calculation. He measures the amount of material required, prepares a cost estimate on this basis and, when carrying out his work, always makes sure that pipes, cables and lines are aligned with each other, often with millimeter precision. The overall work of the fitter is hardly comprehensible to many eyes – but in many cases it resembles pure perfection. It is only when the water pipe breaks or the toilet fails to drain that many people remember the high value of the fitter’s profession.

What training does a fitter need?

It is already possible – and sensible – to choose a fitter profession during training. Electricians, plumbers, heating and ventilation fitters acquire a level of expertise that is not comparable with other skilled trades. It is true that tradesmen trained in other areas can make a lateral entry into the field of work of a fitter or complete further training in this area. However, it is advisable to gain a comprehensive insight into the day-to-day work of a fitter as early as possible. Above all, the knowledge of materials imparted in the process cannot be compared with other fields of work in the construction industry – and is more akin to the knowledge of an architect or a physicist. The profession should therefore not be underestimated.

This credo also applies above all to the physical and mental resilience of the fitter. He is usually deployed where light, water and heat are not yet available – their installation is much more his responsibility. Working as part of a team and often under considerable time pressure, he drills holes, lays cables and makes connections even in places where no functions were apparent. The modern day job of the fitter also relies heavily on technical progress. Here, too, it is therefore necessary to always be up to date – in order to save time and money.

Where are assemblers working?

In addition to the construction industry, fitters are primarily employed in industry, in plant and mechanical engineering, and in the production of cars and aircraft. However, it is often the case that a high level of professional experience is required in addition to pure specialist knowledge, particularly for the completion of complex tasks. Anyone who wants to apply for jobs that are not quite commonplace – such as on an oil rig or laying pipelines under water – should therefore already have the relevant prior knowledge in the targeted professional environment. Thus, it is worthwhile for fitters to change industries at regular or irregular intervals and to always learn something new.

Future prospects for fitters

The expertise of fitters can hardly be replaced in construction and industry, despite technological progress. Although further development is also making its way into these areas of activity – it simplifies the work of the fitter, but cannot take it over completely. It can therefore be assumed for the future that the fitter – like various other job profiles in the skilled trades – will continue to face a secure existence in the coming decades. However, it is always important to recognize technical progress as an aid – and to learn the operation of modern tools and equipment as well as the new findings in materials research in a disciplined manner.