There are currently an estimated 44,100 pipelayers in the United States. The pipelayer job market is expected to grow by 17.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are pipelayers?

CareerExplorer rates pipelayers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 14,300 pipelayers. That number is based on 7,600 additional pipelayers, and the retirement of 6,700 existing pipelayers.

Are pipelayers in demand?

The job outlook for pipelayers is influenced by several factors. Demand in the field stems from the ongoing need for cities to upgrade and rebuild water, gas, and sewer lines, especially as residential expansion occurs. Concern over the age of some cities’ pipe systems and their vulnerability to earthquakes may accelerate this work. Government budgets, though, may curtail or delay some projects. The laying of pipes for new oil and gas fields will, to some degree, continue to be dependent on jurisdictional approval of such infrastructure, often in the face of environmental concerns and public protest. Currently, the downturn in the oil and gas industry is drastically reducing opportunities in this sector. The construction business frequently provides only temporary employment, causing pipelayers to undertake multiple job searches. Even when overall construction activity declines, however, pipe systems require maintenance, repair, and replacement. This sustains jobs. In addition, many pipelayers are expected to retire over the next decade, creating further openings.

What’s the supply of pipelayers?

The pipelayer industry is concentrated in Texas, Florida, California

Pipelayer job market by state

State Name Employed Pipelayers
Texas 5,180
Florida 4,090
California 3,260
Alabama 2,900
North Carolina 2,410
Virginia 1,540
Georgia 1,510
Tennessee 1,180
Colorado 930
Washington 930
Pennsylvania 900
Ohio 870
South Carolina 770
Minnesota 770
New York 720
Maryland 710
Louisiana 690
Massachusetts 630
Illinois 610
New Jersey 580
Utah 580
Oklahoma 460
Arizona 460
Mississippi 450
Oregon 450
Wisconsin 430
West Virginia 410
Indiana 400
Kansas 380
Michigan 340
North Dakota 330
Missouri 330
Iowa 280
Arkansas 260
Nebraska 200
Maine 180
Kentucky 170
South Dakota 170
Puerto Rico 160
Montana 120
Delaware 100
Wyoming 100
New Mexico 90
Idaho 90
Nevada 80
Hawaii 80
Vermont 70
New Hampshire 70
Alaska 40