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What Does it Take to Be a Pipelayer?

Occupation 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.

List of Pipelayer Job Duties

  • Connect pipe pieces and seal joints, using welding equipment, cement, or glue.
  • Check slopes for conformance to requirements, using levels or lasers.
  • Install or repair sanitary or stormwater sewer structures or pipe systems.
  • Operate mechanized equipment, such as pickup trucks, rollers, tandem dump trucks, front-end loaders, or backhoes.
  • Install or use instruments such as lasers, grade rods, or transit levels.
  • Train or supervise others in laying pipe.

Qualities of a Pipelayer

These are the skills Pipelayers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

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

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

  • Water Main Pipe Layer
  • Pipe Foreman
  • Pipe Installer
  • Construction Laborer
  • Machine Operator

Is There Going to be Demand for Pipelayers?

There were about 44,100 jobs for Pipelayers in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,600 new jobs for Pipelayers by 2026. The BLS estimates 5,700 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Pipelayers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Pipelayers are Texas, Florida, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Alaska, or New Mexico. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Pipelayer Salary

The typical yearly salary for Pipelayers is somewhere between $26,870 and $68,930. The median salary is $38,560.

Salary Ranges for Pipelayers

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$73,810

Illinois

$70,400

Massachusetts

$70,020

New Jersey

$64,850

Minnesota

$64,440

Hawaii

$63,140

Washington

$62,950

Wisconsin

$62,940

New York

$58,260

Connecticut

$55,930

Pennsylvania

$55,740

Oregon

$55,660

Nevada

$53,950

North Dakota

$53,330

California

$52,850

Indiana

$51,390

Ohio

$50,770

Missouri

$50,000

Iowa

$49,370

Montana

$48,930

New Hampshire

$47,280

West Virginia

$46,620

Colorado

$45,420

District of Columbia

$45,030

Arizona

$43,980

Delaware

$43,060

Michigan

$43,010

Vermont

$42,480

Idaho

$42,350

Maryland

$41,980

Florida

$40,060

Maine

$39,250

Utah

$39,190

New Mexico

$38,920

Georgia

$38,820

Kansas

$38,530

Nebraska

$38,360

Oklahoma

$37,300

South Carolina

$37,220

South Dakota

$36,690

Tennessee

$36,160

Virginia

$36,080

Arkansas

$35,740

Kentucky

$35,450

Wyoming

$35,360

Texas

$34,280

Alabama

$34,200

North Carolina

$34,120

Louisiana

$33,050

Mississippi

$32,830

How to Become a Pipelayer

What kind of Pipelayer requirements are there?

Pipelayer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Pipelayer Work Experience

Where Pipelayers Are Employed

Pipelayer Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

  • Slaughterers and Meat Packers
  • Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators

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

  • Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
  • Construction Laborers
  • Helpers–Roofers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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