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What Does it Take to Be a Pipelayer?

Career Description Lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.

Life As a Pipelayer: What Do They Do?

  • Cut pipes to required lengths.
  • Install or repair sanitary or stormwater sewer structures or pipe systems.
  • Align and position pipes to prepare them for welding or sealing.
  • Tap and drill holes into pipes to introduce auxiliary lines or devices.
  • Train or supervise others in laying pipe.
  • Dig trenches to desired or required depths, by hand or using trenching tools.

Pipelayer Needed Skills

When polled, Pipelayers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Other Pipelayer Job Titles

  • Machine Operator
  • Drain Tiler
  • Pipe Assembly Worker
  • Pipe Connector
  • Trench Pipe Layer

Job Opportunities for Pipelayers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 44,100 jobs in the United States for Pipelayer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,600 new jobs for Pipelayer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pipelayers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pipelayer are Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Alaska, or Ohio. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Pipelayer

Pipelayers make between $26,870 and $68,930 a year.

Salary Ranges for Pipelayers

Pipelayers who work in Alaska, Illinois, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Pipelayers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $34,200
Alaska $73,810
Arizona $43,980
Arkansas $35,740
California $52,850
Colorado $45,420
Connecticut $55,930
Delaware $43,060
District of Columbia $45,030
Florida $40,060
Georgia $38,820
Hawaii $63,140
Idaho $42,350
Illinois $70,400
Indiana $51,390
Iowa $49,370
Kansas $38,530
Kentucky $35,450
Louisiana $33,050
Maine $39,250
Maryland $41,980
Massachusetts $70,020
Michigan $43,010
Minnesota $64,440
Mississippi $32,830
Missouri $50,000
Montana $48,930
Nebraska $38,360
Nevada $53,950
New Hampshire $47,280
New Jersey $64,850
New Mexico $38,920
New York $58,260
North Carolina $34,120
North Dakota $53,330
Ohio $50,770
Oklahoma $37,300
Oregon $55,660
Pennsylvania $55,740
South Carolina $37,220
South Dakota $36,690
Tennessee $36,160
Texas $34,280
Utah $39,190
Vermont $42,480
Virginia $36,080
Washington $62,950
West Virginia $46,620
Wisconsin $62,940
Wyoming $35,360

What Tools & Technology do Pipelayers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pipelayers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software

Becoming a Pipelayer

Education needed to be a Pipelayer:

Pipelayer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Pipelayer?

Pipelayer Work Experience

Pipelayers Sector

Pipelayer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Pipelayer Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Pipelayer may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Pipelayer sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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