What Pipeliners Do

Safety is the primary goal of the pipeliner or technician. He or she is responsible for the safety of all company personnel as well as the public at large. Environmental regulations require oil and gas companies to perform routine tests and maintenance on pipelines to ensure that they meet all regulations and guidelines and are performing optimally and safely. The pipeliner schedules and performs this work. If a pipeline requires major repair or replacement, a construction crew may takeover. Otherwise, for most repairs, the pipeliner will handle them.

If the pipeliner or technician works for a construction crew, his or her responsibilities will be different. As part of a construction team, the pipeliner is responsible for preparing the locations for the pipeline to be laid, which can include removing obstacles such as fences and water lines, and cleaning and painting exposed metal to prevent corrosion.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in the number of pipeline transportation jobs by 14 percent by 2020, and this may be a conservative number.

Although many entry-level jobs in the oil and gas industry require three to four years of training, you can get a pipeliner job with very little or no training. Some companies hire pipeliners as trainees and train them, while others prefer pipeliners that have at least a year of experience.

Common Responsibilities Include:

  • Completes work orders.
  • Schedules maintenance and surveys of pipelines and relevant equipment.
  • Performs pipeline rectifier system operations and maintenance.
  • Ensures compliance of environmental and governmental regulations.
  • Controls and minimizes repair expenses through preventative maintenance plans and procedures.
  • Complies with all environmental, health, and safety guidelines.
  • Reports any unsafe condition or situation.
  • Maintains a clean and safe working environment; may be required to perform some housekeeping activities.
  • Makes any or all repairs deemed reasonable and safe.
  • May be required to operate a company vehicle, maintaining it to ensure safety.
  • Orders equipment as needed.
  • Recognizes deviations in operations and takes appropriate action to correct it.
  • May be required to read and interpret drawings and schematics.
  • Uses hand power tools and other equipment.
  • Performs valve and valve operator maintenance tasks.

Pipeliners can work for oil and gas extractors, refiners, and also at energy companies. There are jobs in just about every state in the country, with the highest concentrations in Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Alaska.

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