Life As a Pipelayer
Job 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.
A Day in the Life of a Pipelayer
- Connect pipe pieces and seal joints, using welding equipment, cement, or glue.
- Locate existing pipes needing repair or replacement, using magnetic or radio indicators.
- Dig trenches to desired or required depths, by hand or using trenching tools.
- Check slopes for conformance to requirements, using levels or lasers.
- Lay out pipe routes, following written instructions or blueprints and coordinating layouts with supervisors.
- Align and position pipes to prepare them for welding or sealing.
Pipelayer Required Skills
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
- Pipe Liner
- Machine Operator
- Drain Layer
- Irrigation System Installer
- Construction Laborer
Are There 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. 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.
Average Pipelayers Salary
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|
|District of Columbia||$45,030|
Tools & Technologies Used by Pipelayers
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Pipelayers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
How do I Become a Pipelayer?
Individuals working as a Pipelayer have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Pipelayer?
Who Employs Pipelayers?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Pipelayer might also be interested in the following careers:
- Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
- Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
- Slaughterers and Meat Packers
Are you already one of the many Pipelayer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
- Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
- Construction Laborers
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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