Pipe Welder also is known as a pipeline welder or pipe-liner. The main job of a pipeline welder is to repair, join, and assemble metallic pipe components. Sometimes, people confuse the piping welder and the pipeline welder. The work of both positions looks the same but they are different. The piping welder mainly tends to construct piping systems. And on the other hand, pipeline welder works on the transmission pipelines. Nowadays all industries use piping systems and need pipeline welders. In this article, read various aspects of pipeline welders’ jobs and careers.
- Pipe Welder Requirements
- Functions of a Pipe-liner
- Pipeline Welder Skills
- Pipeline Welder Certification
- Employment Areas
- Job Types
- Pipeline Welder Salary Information
Pipeline Welder Requirements
The candidates require a combination of both work experience and education.
They should have completed either a high school diploma or equivalent from an authorized welding school including the U.S. Armed Forces operating welding and soldering schools.
Candidates with a minimum of one year of steel pipe welding experience are preferred.
They should have a certificate in pipe welding, welding, and metal fabrication.
Candidates should have an associate degree in welding, pipe welding, and metal fabrication.
Knowledge of Welding Processes
They should have at least tried hands-on following welding types along with basic knowledge of tools and understanding of welding fundamentals.
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Submerged Arc Welding (SAW)
Pipe Welder Functions
The pipe welder performs the following duties.
1. Repairing industrial equipment, removing and replacing a pipe, fabricating pipe, etc.
2. Find a source of the problem, repair, replace parts and reassemble them.
3. Installing and fabricating pipelines and servicing them using brazing, soldering, welding, etc.
4. Examining installed pipelines and systems for potential defaults
5. Controlling the materials and supplies along with maintaining welding equipment
6. Installing and repairing gas pressure regulators and devices
7. Cleaning and modifying pipe units, fittings, and systems
8. Marking and measuring pipes for threading and cutting
Pipeline Welder Required Skills
They should possess the following necessary skills to be successful in the welding industry.
1. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Pipe welders require good communication and interpersonal skills as they need to talk frequently with other colleagues and supervisors. Good communication leads to working accuracy and safety at the site.
2. Calculative Skills
They should have general mathematical skills. They need these skills for adjustment of metal length, trimming piping with precision and calculating dimensions, etc.
3. Possess Critical Thinking
Pipe welders should have critical thinking. It helps in interpreting blueprints and schematics. Besides this, it benefits in drawing assemble complex structures accurately.
4. Physically Strong
Pipeline welders work at different locations and environments. Their jobs require welding pipes in various positions and carrying and lifting heavy equipment. Sometimes, they need to weld laying down on the ground for hours.
5. Punctuality and Time Management
They should be good time managers and punctual in routine life. Their jobs demand a strict working timetable. So, these professionals should have smart time management skills for completing tasks quickly and error-free.
6. Troubleshooting Skills
Pipe-liners should have common troubleshooting skills for working smoothly. They should be smart enough to examine the welding equipment and piping system for potential problems.
7. Other Skills
- Advanced Computer Skills
- Deductive Reasoning
- Equipment Maintenance
- Problem Solving Skills
- Quality Assurance
- Teamwork Spirit
- Working with Tools
8. Knowledge of Welding Processes – candidates with more knowledge of processes are preferable.
TIG Welding Skills
- Able to weld and complete pipe joints using TIG and Arc welding
- Experienced hands-on TIG welding materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon steel with different thicknesses.
- Well aware of the 6G-TIG weld test fitted pipe and performed TIG welds
- Able to perform metal fabricating and TIG welds
- Welding pipes in all positions using E6010 and E7018 and TIG carbon, stainless
- Able to weld all sizes of pipes with TIG and SMAW processes.
MIG Welding Skills
- Able to perform welding with flat, horizontal, overhead, and vertical positions with Stick, TIG, or MIG welders.
- Ability to perform Flux-core, Stick, TIG, and MIG welding on projects
- Experience in all types of welding processes mainly MIG, Stick, and TIG
- Able to modify and repair the hydraulic equipment using MIG welding
- Possess experience with x-ray pipe welder utilizing MIG, Stick, and TIG welding
- Capable of laying code welds on different sizes of piping
Pipeline Welder Certification
Certification is proof of performing certain skills for the required job with recommended codes and standards. Basically, certification is a process of demonstrating welding skills for a special type of job. The American Welding Society holds an exam for many types of welding certifications. Applicants need to apply on the AWS website and select dates and appear in the exam. After passing the exam, AWS issues Certification for a certain period of time.
Pipeline certification consists of the following things like mechanical tests to verify the strength of the weld, visual tests assessing the appearance and neatness, and radiographic testing to check any weaknesses in the bond. Candidates demonstrating their welding skills in an efficient way lead to passing the certification test.
Note: AWS Certified Welder is preferred.
Pipeline welders can have jobs in the following areas.
- Building and Mechanical Components
- Chemical Processing
- Cross-Country Pipelines
- Food and Beverage Processing
- Mineral Processing Facilities
- Oil Refineries
- Power Generation
- Water and Natural Gas Utilities
Pipeline Welder Job Types
The following are some of the job types for pipeline welders.
- Combo Pipe Welder
- Pipe Welder (helper)
- Pipe Welder (natural gas)
- Pipeline Technician
- Senior Pipeline Welder
- Stainless Steel Pipe Welder
- Traveling Stainless Steel Pipe Welder
Pipeline Welder Salary Information
There are many factors that decide the level of salary for each professional in the welding industry. All the pipeline welders do not get equal monthly or yearly salaries. It varies from place to place in the United States. The entry-level salary of a pipeline welder is $52,000. The natural gas pipeline industry is amongst the highest-paying ones. On average, it pays $59,620 to pipeline welders yearly. As per the recent figures, the highest paying state ($67,980) in the United States is Alaska.
Thus, the above information on the profession of pipeline welder or pipe-liner is important and beneficial for welding professionals and candidates seeking jobs in the welding industry.
Related: Other Welding Professions