A pipelayer is a plumbing and construction expert who specializes in preparing and installing pipelines. Professionals carefully excavate ground, lay down sections of pipe, and secure joints by welding or cementing them together. A pipelayer might work for a municipal government organization to work on city sewer and gas lines, or find employment at a private contracting company to install pipes at homes and businesses. Most people who decide to become pipelayers spend several years in apprenticeship programs before working independently.
When a large sewer or water line needs to be installed, a team of pipelayers are brought in to do the job. To begin a project, they follow blueprints and instructions from supervisors to dig trenches to appropriate depths. Professionals take frequent measurements of the slope of the ground to ensure trenches are kept level during the digging process. A major sewer project may require pipelayers to utilize heavy equipment and vehicles, including dump trucks and backhoes. For a relatively minor job, a pipelayer usually works with hand tools, such as shovels and pickaxes.
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