Pipefitters Local 533 Pay Scale: A Detailed Overview

Pipefitting is a specialized trade that involves installing, maintaining, and repairing piping systems that carry water, steam, chemicals, and fuel. Pipefitters need extensive technical knowledge and skills to work with various pipe materials and joining methods.

They play a critical role in residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The typical pay for pipefitters under Pipefitters Local 533 ranges from $17 to $50 per hour, depending on experience and certifications. The local’s pay scale has 7 levels that pipefitters progress through as they gain more skills.

In this comprehensive 3000-word guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the pay structure at Pipefitters Local 533, one of the strongest and highest-paying union locals in the state of California.

We will discuss key details including pay rates per hour based on experience level, typical wages for apprentices and journeymen, the local’s wage negotiation process, and additional pay benefits like overtime and per diem pay.

Overview of Pipefitters Local 533

Pipefitters Local 533 is a well-established and highly respected union in the plumbing and pipefitting industry. With a rich history spanning several decades, this organization is dedicated to representing the interests of its members and ensuring fair pay and working conditions.

In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of Pipefitters Local 533, including quick facts, the types of work done by its members, and the states and counties it covers.

Quick facts about Local 533

Local 533 is known for its commitment to excellence and professionalism in the pipefitting trade. Here are some key facts about this organization:

  • Founded in 1946
  • Represents over 2,000 highly skilled pipefitters
  • Offers comprehensive training programs to its members
  • Has a reputation for delivering high-quality workmanship

Types of work done by Local 533 pipefitters

Pipefitters Local 533 members are trained to handle a wide range of tasks in the plumbing and pipefitting industry. Some of the common types of work performed by Local 533 pipefitters include:

  • Installation and maintenance of plumbing systems
  • Assembly and installation of pipes, valves, and fittings
  • Repairing and replacing faulty plumbing components
  • Reading blueprints and interpreting technical drawings
  • Collaborating with other tradespeople on construction projects

Local 533 pipefitters are highly skilled professionals who undergo rigorous training to ensure they can handle these tasks with precision and efficiency. They are known for their dedication to quality work and their ability to meet project deadlines.

States and counties covered by Local 533

Local 533 serves a wide geographical area, encompassing multiple states and counties. Some of the states covered by this union include:

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
  • Arkansas

Within these states, Local 533 has a presence in various counties, providing its members with ample job opportunities. Whether it’s a residential, commercial, or industrial project, Local 533 pipefitters are ready to take on the challenge.

Pay Scale Levels at Pipefitters Local 533

When it comes to the pay scale at Pipefitters Local 533, there are several levels that workers progress through as they gain experience and expertise in their trade. Each level comes with its own set of responsibilities and corresponding pay rate.

Let’s take a closer look at the different levels within the pay scale:

Level 1 – Entry-level apprentice

At this level, apprentices are just starting their journey in the pipefitting trade. They are typically new to the industry and are learning the basics of pipefitting under the guidance of more experienced workers.

The pay rate for entry-level apprentices is lower compared to higher levels, but it increases as they progress through the program.

Level 2 – Junior apprentice

Junior apprentices have gained some experience and knowledge in pipefitting. They have completed the initial training and are now taking on more responsibilities, such as assisting in the installation and maintenance of piping systems.

The pay rate for junior apprentices is higher than that of entry-level apprentices, reflecting their increased skills and contributions.

Level 3 – Intermediate apprentice

Intermediate apprentices have further honed their skills and are capable of working independently on certain tasks. They are given more complex assignments and may be responsible for supervising entry-level and junior apprentices. As their expertise grows, so does their pay rate.

Level 4 – Senior apprentice

Senior apprentices are nearing the end of their apprenticeship program and are considered highly skilled in their trade. They are entrusted with more challenging projects and have the ability to lead a team of apprentices. Their pay rate reflects their advanced skills and experience.

Level 5 – Journeyman

Journeymen have completed their apprenticeship program and are considered fully qualified pipefitters. They have extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of pipefitting and can work on a wide range of projects.

Journeymen earn a competitive pay rate, reflecting their expertise and the value they bring to the job.

Level 6 – Advanced journeyman

Advanced journeymen have gone above and beyond the requirements of a journeyman. They have pursued additional training and certifications to further enhance their skills. These individuals are often sought after for their specialized knowledge and may earn a higher pay rate than regular journeymen.

Level 7 – Master journeyman

Master journeymen are at the top of their field. They have achieved the highest level of expertise and are recognized as leaders in the pipefitting industry. Their pay rate reflects their exceptional skills and experience.

Master journeymen may also have opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming supervisors or instructors.

It’s important to note that the exact pay rates at each level may vary depending on factors such as location, industry demand, and collective bargaining agreements. For more detailed and up-to-date information on the pay scale at Pipefitters Local 533, you can visit their official website www.pipefitters533.org.

Average Pay for Apprentices and Journeymen

Apprentice wage progression

Aspiring pipefitters who join Pipefitters Local 533 can expect a structured wage progression as they advance through their apprenticeship. The pay scale for apprentices is designed to reward their increasing skills and knowledge.

In the early stages of their apprenticeship, they may start with a lower wage, but as they gain experience and complete training milestones, their pay increases.

Apprentices receive regular raises as they reach certain benchmarks, such as completing a certain number of on-the-job training hours or finishing specific courses. This progressive wage structure motivates apprentices to meet these milestones and continue their learning and development.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for apprentices in the plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting industry is $15.50 per hour. However, it’s important to note that wages can vary based on factors such as location, level of experience, and the specific employer.

Average journeyman pay

Upon completing their apprenticeship and becoming journeyman pipefitters, members of Pipefitters Local 533 can enjoy even higher wages. Journeymen are experienced professionals who have demonstrated their expertise in the field.

The average journeyman pipefitter in the United States earns around $28.00 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it’s essential to remember that this figure can vary depending on factors such as geographic location, industry demand, and years of experience.

It’s worth mentioning that the pay scale for journeyman pipefitters can also differ between different locals and regions. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s always advisable to consult the local union’s website or speak directly with a representative from Pipefitters Local 533.

For more information on pipefitter wages and industry trends, you can visit the official website of Pipefitters Local 533 at www.pipefitters533.org.

How Local 533 Pay is Negotiated

Wage negotiation process

The negotiation process for the pay scale in Pipefitters Local 533 is a collaborative effort between the union representatives and the employers. These negotiations typically occur during the formation of a new labor contract, which is usually negotiated every few years.

The union, represented by elected officials, engages in discussions with employer representatives to come to an agreement on the terms of the pay scale.

During these negotiations, the union presents its proposals for wage increases, benefits, and other compensation-related matters. The employers, on the other hand, may raise concerns about costs, market conditions, and profitability.

Both parties aim to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that takes into account the interests of the workers and the employers.

It is important to note that the negotiation process is guided by the principle of collective bargaining, which allows workers to have a voice in determining their wages and working conditions.

Factors impacting negotiated pay rates

Several factors can influence the negotiated pay rates in Pipefitters Local 533. These factors may include:

  • Market conditions: The demand for skilled pipefitters in the local area can have a significant impact on the negotiated pay rates. If there is a high demand for pipefitters and a limited supply of skilled workers, employers may be more inclined to offer higher wages to attract and retain talent.
  • Economic factors: The overall state of the economy can also influence the negotiations. During times of economic growth and prosperity, employers may be more willing to offer higher wages. Conversely, during economic downturns, employers may be more cautious with their labor costs.
  • Industry standards: The pay rates in Pipefitters Local 533 may also be influenced by industry standards. Union representatives may reference similar contracts in the industry or region to support their proposals for higher wages.
  • Cost of living: The cost of living in the local area can also be a consideration during wage negotiations. If the cost of living is high, workers may argue for higher wages to ensure they can meet their financial needs.

It’s important to remember that the negotiation process is complex and often involves compromises and trade-offs. Both the union and the employers aim to strike a balance between the interests of the workers and the financial sustainability of the companies.

Overtime Pay, Per Diem and Other Benefits

Overtime pay rates

One of the key benefits of being a member of Pipefitters Local 533 is the attractive overtime pay rates. Overtime pay is offered to pipefitters who work more than their regular hours. The overtime pay rate is typically higher than the regular hourly wage and can vary depending on the specific contract and location.

This means that pipefitters have the opportunity to earn extra income by working overtime, which can greatly enhance their overall earnings.

Per diem pay

In addition to overtime pay, Pipefitters Local 533 also provides per diem pay to its members. Per diem pay is a daily allowance provided to pipefitters who are required to travel and work on projects away from their home base.

This allowance covers expenses such as lodging, meals, and other incidentals. The per diem pay rate is determined based on industry standards and can vary depending on the location and duration of the project.

It is a valuable benefit that helps pipefitters offset the costs associated with being away from home.

Health insurance and other benefits

Being a member of Pipefitters Local 533 comes with a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance and other perks. The health insurance coverage ensures that pipefitters and their families have access to quality healthcare services.

This can include medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as prescription drug benefits. Other benefits may include retirement plans, disability insurance, and educational assistance programs.

According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pipefitters who are part of a union, such as Pipefitters Local 533, are more likely to have access to employer-provided health insurance compared to non-union workers.

This is a significant advantage that provides peace of mind and financial security for pipefitters and their families.

It is important to note that the specific benefits and pay scale may vary depending on the region and individual contracts negotiated by Pipefitters Local 533. For more detailed information about the specific pay scale and benefits offered by Pipefitters Local 533, it is recommended to visit their official website www.pipefitters533.org or contact their local office directly.


In summary, pipefitters under Local 533 have access to strong pay rates, with hourly wages ranging from $17 for entry-level apprentices up to $50 per hour for the most experienced master journeymen. Pay increases steadily as apprentices gain skills and certifications.

The union engages in regular negotiations to maintain competitive wages, and pipefitters also earn overtime pay along with health insurance and retirement benefits.

For those interested in getting into pipefitting, the earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship program offered by Local 533 provides excellent training while being compensated. With hard work and dedication, apprentices can progress through the pay scale levels and become highly-paid journeymen.

The union provides opportunities for advancement and an excellent career path in the skilled trades.

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