Lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.
Sample of reported job titles: Pipelayer, Tailman, Waste Water Worker
View report: Summary Details Custom Easy Read Veterans Español
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Install or use instruments such as lasers, grade rods, or transit levels.
- Cut pipes to required lengths.
- Connect pipe pieces and seal joints, using welding equipment, cement, or glue.
- Cover pipes with earth or other materials.
- Install or repair sanitary or stormwater sewer structures or pipe systems.
- Align and position pipes to prepare them for welding or sealing.
- Check slopes for conformance to requirements, using levels or lasers.
- Lay out pipe routes, following written instructions or blueprints and coordinating layouts with supervisors.
- Operate mechanized equipment, such as pickup trucks, rollers, tandem dump trucks, front-end loaders, or backhoes.
- Grade or level trench bases, using tamping machines or hand tools.
- Dig trenches to desired or required depths, by hand or using trenching tools.
- Tap and drill holes into pipes to introduce auxiliary lines or devices.
- Locate existing pipes needing repair or replacement, using magnetic or radio indicators.
- Train or supervise others in laying pipe.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
back to top
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
back to top
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
back to top
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
back to top
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
back to top
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
back to top
Detailed Work Activities
- Position hand tools.
- Apply adhesives to construction materials.
- Cut metal components for installation.
- Spread sand, dirt or other loose materials onto surfaces.
- Weld metal components.
- Install plumbing or piping.
- Maintain plumbing structures or fixtures.
- Communicate with other construction or extraction personnel to discuss project details.
- Evaluate projects to determine compliance with technical specifications.
- Mark reference points on construction materials.
- Compact materials to create level bases.
- Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
- Operate equipment or vehicles to clear construction sites or move materials.
- Dig holes or trenches.
- Drill holes in construction materials.
- Locate equipment or materials in need of repair or replacement.
- Direct construction or extraction personnel.
- Train construction or extraction personnel.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
back to top
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 96% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 78% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 60% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 50% responded “More than half the time.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 48% responded “High responsibility.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 44% responded “Every day.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Telephone — 51% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 36% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With External Customers — 35% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 27% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
back to top
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
back to top
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|71||High school diploma or equivalent
|24||Less than high school diploma|
back to top
back to top
Interest code: R Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
back to top
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
back to top
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
back to top
back to top
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$19.46 hourly, $40,480 annual|
|Employment (2020)||35,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||3,500|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
back to top
Job Openings on the Web
back to top
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Fire Sprinkler Association
- Home Builders Institute
- Laborers’ International Union of North America
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America
- National Association of Home Builders
- National Fire Sprinkler Association
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
- United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
back to top