What does a Pipeline Engineer do?

Learn all about Pipeline Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Pipeline Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A pipeline engineer is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of pipelines. They may work on projects such as oil and gas pipelines, water pipelines, and sewer systems. Pipeline engineers must be able to understand complex technical drawings and specifications. They must also be familiar with the construction process and the materials used in pipeline construction.

Pipeline Engineer job duties include:

  • Design and oversee construction of new pipelines or modifications to existing pipelines.
  • Develop plans and specifications for new pipeline projects or improvements to existing pipelines.
  • Coordinate the activities of engineering, construction, and maintenance personnel working on pipeline projects.
  • Inspect completed pipeline projects to ensure that they meet all safety and quality standards.
  • Investigate reports of problems or accidents involving pipelines and take corrective action as necessary.
  • Prepare cost estimates for new pipeline projects or improvements to existing pipelines.
  • Monitor changes in technology that could improve the safety or efficiency of pipeline operations.
  • Keep abreast of federal, state, and local regulations affecting pipeline operations.
  • Plan and implement a maintenance program for pipelines and associated equipment.

Pipeline Engineer Job Requirements

Pipeline engineers are responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of pipelines. They must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, and many employers require certification from the American Society of Civil Engineers or the National Society of Professional Engineers. Pipeline engineers must also have experience in the field, as well as knowledge of pipeline safety regulations.

Pipeline Engineer Skills

  • Communication
  • Documentation
  • Pipeline design
  • Pipeline construction
  • Pipeline operations
  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Safety management
  • Quality assurance
  • Environmental compliance
  • Regulatory compliance

Related: Top Pipeline Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Pipeline Engineer

Pipeline engineers are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of pipelines used to transport oil and gas. They work closely with other engineering disciplines to ensure that the pipeline is safe and efficient.

Becoming a pipeline engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in mechanical or civil engineering. Coursework should include classes in fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer. In addition, experience working with computer-aided design (CAD) software is helpful.

After completing an accredited engineering program, candidates must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to earn their professional engineer (PE) license. The PE license is required in order to practice engineering independently.

Those interested in becoming a pipeline engineer should have strong problem-solving skills and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to communicate effectively with other members of a project team.

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