A sophisticated network of pipelines runs beneath the ground,
constantly moving oil and gas products across North America. The
pipeline network functions much like a railway network, with
numerous pick-up and drop-off points along the way. While trains
carry people, freight, tankers and grain cars, pipelines move oil
and gas products such as crude oil, natural gas and refined
petroleum products. These products eventually become fuel for our
cars or gas to heat our homes and businesses.
Building and maintaining these pipelines is tough work performed
by men and women who love the outdoors and can handle challenges.
Does this describe you to a "T"? Do you love physical hard work? Do
you want to learn and develop in the pipeline business? If so,
becoming a Pipeline Transportation Helper, Labourer or Semiskilled
Worker just might be the job for you!
What do Pipeline Transportation Helpers, Labourers and
Semi-skilled Workers do?
Pipeline Transportation Services Helpers, Labourers and
Semi-skilled Workers occupy entry-level jobs found in
pipeline construction, maintenance and operations. These jobs
provide excellent training and experience and can lead to jobs with
greater responsibilities. There are many possible roles in this
occupation. Typical ones include:
Workers: Remove obstructions from the pipeline
right-of-way. They create a uniform grade for the pipeline so that
equipment and trucks can move onto and along the right-of-way
easily. They also excavate trenches on the right-of-way where pipe
or cable will be placed and help place pipe end to end in
preparation for welding.
Workers: Assist in bending pipe so that it fits the land
contours. They help to position and align pipe for welding. They
also apply primer, protective coating and final wrapping on the
Workers: Cover the pipeline with the topsoil that was
previously removed and ensure the right-of-way is returned to its
Workers: Assist in performing preventive maintenance,
repair and upgrading of pipelines, pumping stations and pipeline
facilities/oil tank farms.
- Line Walkers: Patrol
the pipeline on foot, horseback or other means to find evidence of
leaks, washouts, breaks in joints, and damaged communication
infrastructure. They operate pumping equipment that is located at
intervals along the line.
How do I become a Pipeline Transportation Helper, Labourer or
A high school diploma is preferred by most employers. You should
have clean drug and alcohol test results and a valid driver's
license. Employers also seek people in good physical condition with
strong work ethics and willingness to learn. Once hired, the
employer will provide you with safety and on the job training.
What are the working conditions like?
Work involves repetitive standing, stooping, bending, squatting,
walking, and lifting of weights up to 20 kilograms unassisted.
Climbing in and out of trenches, climbing tanks, working around
heavy equipment, negotiating rough terrain, and working in confined
spaces is also common.
Most work is performed outdoors, so you must be prepared for
exposure to all kinds of weather conditions. Some operations are
near towns or cites and others are quite isolated. Travel and
overnight staysin hotels, motels and possibly camps may be
There may be some exposure to potentially hazardous materials
such as chemical vapour and flammable gases. Safety procedures and
policies are strictly enforced for your protection. Pipeline
maintenance crews are typically required to carry pagers and must
be able to respond to 24-hour emergency call-outs and call-backs,
including weekends and holidays.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Pipeline
Transportation Helper, Labourer or Semi-skilled
- I am in great physical condition and
can handle hard physical work.
- I am willing to ask questions, follow
instructions and learn on the go.
- I am willing to perform a variety of
- I can follow safety rules and
precautions, and understand their importance when dealing with
potentially hazardous material and equipment
- I have good vision and hand-eye
- I am capable of operating machinery
and power tools.
- I can work in isolated regions for
extended periods of time.
- I have the tolerance, stamina and
flexibility to work outdoors in any weather conditions.
- I believe in teamwork and understand
that other people will be relying on me.
- I believe that I have what it takes
to be an excellent Pipeline Transportation Helper, Labourer or
Quick tips and next steps!
- Check out the membership directory on
the Pipeline Contractors Association of Canada website at www.pipeline.ca for a list of
- Research employers well before you
attend a job interview. Employers are generally impressed with
candidates who do this.
- Find out more about the pipeline
business by checking out Pipeline 101 on the Canadian
Energy Pipeline Association website at www.cepa.com.
- Attend industry career fairs and
speak to employers. Check with employment centres, educational
institutions, newspapers, petroleum-related magazines and the
internet for information on industry career fairs.
- Look for summer jobs with pipeline
operators and contractors.
Want more info?
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