Is a Pipe Layer a Good Job

A pipe layer is a skilled trade that involves installing, repairing, and replacing pipes used for transporting liquids and gases. It is a physically demanding job that requires long hours of standing, bending, and lifting heavy materials. Pipe layers work in a variety of settings, including construction sites, oil and gas fields, and power plants. They must be able to work independently and as part of a team. Pipe layers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and may require additional training or certification. The job outlook for pipe layers is expected to be good over the next decade due to increased infrastructure development and the replacement of aging pipes.

Industry Outlook

The pipe layer industry is expected to grow in the coming years. This is due to the increasing demand for new pipelines, as well as the need to replace aging pipelines. The growth of the oil and gas industry is also expected to contribute to the demand for pipe layers.

Career Growth

Pipe layers can advance their careers by becoming supervisors or foremen. They can also specialize in a particular type of pipe laying, such as welding or trenching. Pipe layers with experience and training can also work as inspectors or managers.

Career Path

  • Pipe Layer
  • Pipe Layer Supervisor
  • Foreman
  • Inspector
  • Manager

Education and Training

Pipe layers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. They may also need to complete a training program at a vocational school or community college. Pipe layers must be physically fit and able to work in all types of weather conditions.


The median annual salary for pipe layers is $48,900. The top 10% of earners make more than $79,570 per year.

PercentileAnnual Salary
50th (Median)$48,900

Earning Potential

The earning potential for pipe layers varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and type of project. On average, pipe layers in the United States earn an hourly wage of approximately $25 to $35, or an annual salary of around $50,000 to $70,000. Highly skilled and experienced pipe layers working on large-scale projects may earn even higher.


In addition to earning potential, pipe layers also receive various benefits, which may vary depending on the employer. Common benefits include:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid time off
  • Sick leave
  • Overtime pay

Unionized pipe layers may receive additional benefits, such as:

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Job training
  • Safety training
  • Higher wages and benefits
Health insuranceCovers medical expenses, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs.
Dental insuranceCovers dental expenses, such as cleanings, fillings, and crowns.
Vision insuranceCovers vision expenses, such as eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses.
Retirement plansHelps save for retirement through contributions from the employer and employee.
Paid time offAllows time off from work for vacations, sick days, and personal days.
Sick leaveAllows time off from work for illness or injury.
Overtime payPays extra for hours worked over the regular 40-hour workweek.

Physical Demands

  • Requires physical strength to lift and move heavy equipment and materials.
  • Must be able to perform manual labor in all weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.
  • Constant bending, kneeling, and squatting is necessary to install and repair pipes.

Work Environment

Pipe layers typically work outdoors, often in trenches or other confined spaces. They may be exposed to hazardous materials, such as chemicals and gases. Noise levels can be high, and the work can be physically demanding. Pipe layers often work long hours, including overtime and weekends, to meet deadlines.

Physical DemandsHigh
Work EnvironmentModerate

Educational Requirements

Pipe layers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers may prefer candidates with additional education, such as a certificate or associate’s degree in pipefitting, welding, or a related field.

Training Options

  • Apprenticeships: Pipe layers can learn the trade through apprenticeships, which typically last three to four years. During an apprenticeship, apprentices work under the supervision of experienced pipe layers and learn all aspects of the trade.
  • Vocational schools: Vocational schools offer certificate or associate’s degree programs in pipefitting, welding, and other related fields. These programs provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to work as pipe layers.
  • On-the-job training: Some employers provide on-the-job training to new employees. This training typically includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience.

Well, folks, that’s all for today’s dive into the world of pipe laying! Whether you’re considering making a career switch or simply curious about the ins and outs, I hope you found this article informative and helpful. Of course, the best way to know if a pipe layer is right for you is to give it a try. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check back later for more pipe-tastic insights and advice!