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Details for Pipelayers


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.


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


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.


Related Careers

  • Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers
  • Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Highway Maintenance Workers
  • Hunters and Trappers
  • Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand
Wages for this career
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