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What is a Pipelayer?

Example of Pipelayer Job 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.

Pipelayer Responsibilities

  • Cover pipes with earth or other materials.
  • Train or supervise others in laying pipe.
  • Check slopes for conformance to requirements, using levels or lasers.
  • Locate existing pipes needing repair or replacement, using magnetic or radio indicators.
  • Cut pipes to required lengths.
  • Dig trenches to desired or required depths, by hand or using trenching tools.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Pipelayer?

Below is a list of the skills most Pipelayers say are important on the job.

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.

Types of Pipelayer Jobs

  • Equipment Operator
  • Drain Layer
  • Drain Tiler
  • Irrigation Technician
  • Pipe Fitter

Job Demand 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. The BLS estimates 5,700 yearly job openings in this field.


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

The salary for Pipelayers ranges between about $26,870 and $68,930 a year.


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

How much do Pipelayers make in each U.S. state?

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

How to Become a Pipelayer

Learn what Pipelayer education requirements there are.


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Pipelayers Are Employed


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


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Pipelayer might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Pipelayer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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