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How to become a Pipeline Engineer

Pipeline Engineer
avg. starting salary

Thinking about becoming a Pipeline Engineer? It’s time to lay the groundwork… Pipeline Engineers are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of onshore and offshore pipelines. These pipelines are absolutely vital to the oil and gas industry, carrying crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum over long distances and between processes. What more, with hundreds of thousands of these pipes transporting liquids and gasses across the world, and their deposits needed for everything from heating our homes or fuelling our cars, highly skilled Pipeline Engineers are always in demand. Typical responsibilities for a Pipeline Engineer include:
  • Designing new pipelines
  • Developing routes, taking environmental and geological issues into account
  • Overseeing construction
  • Testing installations and performing quality control
  • Integrity and corrosion control on existing systems
  • Repairs and maintenance to fix faulty pipelines

Pipeline Engineering is a challenging and high-pressure occupation. Faulty pipelines are incredibly costly, and often need to be fixed as a matter of high priority. Even the smallest mistake could be disastrous if not detected quickly. If you can’t stand the heat, don’t become a Pipeline Engineer. Additionally, although you’ll generally be working indoors in operational headquarters or labs, the job will require some amount of travel, which could be off-or-onshore. Being away from home for weeks on end are part and parcel of this role. Other necessary attributes for a Pipeline Engineer include:
  • Excellent mathematical skills
  • A mechanically astute approach
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • A passion for problem solving
  • The ability to see ‘the big picture’

"I’d be lying if I said I grew up wanting to be a Pipeline Engineer. I love science, and enjoy problem-solving, which is how I first got into engineering. I did a mechanical engineering degree, and becoming a Pipeline Engineer was actually a pretty natural fit from there. You get to travel around the world, it pays well, and the job is actually really rewarding. If it wasn't for Pipeline Engineers, we wouldn't be able to drive our cars, cook our food or even heat our homes. Not that I'm big-headed or anything…"

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