Pipelayers

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About the 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.

It is also Called

  • Water Main Pipe Layer
  • Waste Water Worker
  • Utility Pipe Layer
  • Trench Pipe Layer
  • Tile Conduit Layer
  • Tailman
  • Skilled Laborer
  • Sewer Pipe Layer
  • Sewer Connector
  • Plumbing Technician
show all

What They Do

  • Train or supervise others in laying pipe.
  • Locate existing pipes needing repair or replacement, using magnetic or radio indicators.
  • Tap and drill holes into pipes to introduce auxiliary lines or devices.
  • Dig trenches to desired or required depths, by hand or using trenching tools.
  • Grade or level trench bases, using tamping machines or hand tools.
  • Operate mechanized equipment, such as pickup trucks, rollers, tandem dump trucks, front-end loaders, or backhoes.
  • Lay out pipe routes, following written instructions or blueprints and coordinating layouts with supervisors.
  • Check slopes for conformance to requirements, using levels or lasers.
  • Align and position pipes to prepare them for welding or sealing.
  • Install or repair sanitary or stormwater sewer structures or pipe systems.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: I.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $51,150 with most people making between $33,630 and $75,700

Outlook

1.22%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,800 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,020 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 22 openings due to growth and about 28 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education