Pipe Layer Job Description

Pipe Layers are responsible for installing underground pipes needed by infrastructure projects, from dams, highways to drainage in subdivisions and airports. They may be made of steel, clay, cast iron, plastic or reinforced concrete. They lay pipes used for water supply, gas, sewerage, and storm water. Length of laid pipes may range from a few feet to hundreds of kilometers. They use modern laser instruments, transit levels or grade rods to check slopes to make sure that they conform to project requirements. They use earth or other suitable materials to cover the pipes they have laid. Depending on the material of the pipes, they use cement, glue or welding equipment to join pipes and seal their joints. They cut pipes using appropriate cutting equipment for the materials used to the required lengths.

They use hand tools or tamping machines to level trench bases. They lay out routes to be followed by the pipes, based on blue prints or written instructions. They coordinate with supervisors as well about the routes to be followed. Since they have to be buried in the ground, they dig trenches to the levels required by the project using trenching tools or by hand if needed. They are responsible for aligning and positioning the pipes in preparation for sealing or welding.

Pipe layers can be found working with road crews, in companies involved in civil contracting, local government and development firms. With further training, layers can become supervisors for plumbing and mechanical contractors. They can also go into the business, starting as home-based self-employed layer. They can eventually move on to become managers of their own business, employing several workers.