Meet Ronnie Bowen, a pipefitter who started his journey as an apprentice through a local pipefitters union. Ronnie learned this tough trade over the last ten years and shares good insights into what pipefitters do, why they’re important, and why they need dependable footwear to make it through their days.
1. First and last name
3. Style of boot you wear
THOROGOOD MEN’S 6” MOC TOE LACE-UP WORK BOOTS, 804-4200
4. What inspires you to do what you do
What inspires me to do what I do is knowing that I’m part of the solution and that I actually do things that help society as a whole in terms of sustainability as well as powering the future, the world wouldn’t be what it is today without the piping systems we build and repair.
5. What is your purpose for doing what you are doing
My purpose of doing what I do is designing, fabricating and laying out piping systems used for an unlimited types of applications. Just think about all the things in this world that you need pipes for.
6. How do Thorogood boots help you or why do you wear them
7. How did you get started with your career
I got started in the Pipefitters trade when I was 18 years old, I signed up for an apprenticeship program through a local pipe fitters union. Where I got to learn and earn at the same time. Joined in 2013, so it’s been about 10 years I’ve been in this trade now and I have learned a lot.
8. What does a day to day look like for a Pipefitter and do you need to travel for work?
Day to day as a Pipefitter depends on the job application. A lot of Pipefitters travel from job to job chasing that big boy money working outages at power houses and such. For me I run a service truck for a mechanical contractor and I’m always getting into something new which is what I enjoy most about my job. We do all types of process piping systems, chemical systems, chill water, gas and more. Pretty much anything that has to do with process piping systems I get into.
9. What are the dangers associated with being a Pipefitter?
There are a lot of dangers associated with pipe fitting and fabricating piping systems. I mean we’re around things that can explode, pipes that contain high amounts pressure and crazy temperatures both hot and cold. Steam, natural gas, fuel, acid, ozone, just to name a few. Not only what’s in the pipes is dangerous but sometimes the size and weight of the pipes can be dangerous to be around I’ve run 1/2” pipe all the way up to 36” and I seen guys out there working on 120”. So it’s definitely a dangerous trade but we’re trained to work safely and efficiently.
10. What struggles have you encountered
I encounter struggles every day, like I tell people who are just getting in the trade. It’s never going to be easy it just gets easier. What we do is dangerous and hard work but with time and the right people you learn the skills you need to overcome any obstacle.
11. What advice would you have for others that are interested in doing what you do?
The advice I have for someone who is wanting to get into this type of work is do it. You can make a good living as a Pipefitter, especially if you can weld pipe. Some of the best pipe welders I know are Pipefitters. I’ve noticed a lot of young men and woman just want to weld pipe, so they go to these welding schools. Almost every person I’ve met that went to welding school doesn’t make it in the trade. My advice to you is join a Pipefitters union, they will teach you everything there is to know about the piping industry including how to weld pipe, not only that but by doing an apprenticeship you’ll be put right into the piping industry learning and earning as you go.
*For more information, videos, and images of Ronnie, visit the link below.