Need To Pay Off Student Loans? Could Pipeline Construction Be Right For You?

Posted on: 28 May 2016


If you have hefty student loans from your undergraduate education and are having trouble finding a viable career in your area of study, you may be frantically searching for jobs that can help you avoid defaulting on your loans while still providing you with enough leftover funds to pay your rent or even have some fun. With the rapid expansion of oil fields in the western portion of the United States combined with the retirement of a number of Baby Boomer pipeline workers, pipeline construction jobs are opening up rapidly. Could a career in pipeline construction allow you to quickly repay your student loans while providing you with enough additional income to improve your quality of life? Read on to learn more about pipeline construction to determine whether this might be a viable career path.

What skills or experience do you need to work in pipeline construction? 

Most pipeline construction workers will begin as laborers, either hauling parts or welding pieces of pipe together. Although you shouldn't need any formal education for this process, you'll need to establish that you have some familiarity with an arc welder and are able to lift and carry heavy sections of pipe from one spot to another. While it can be frustrating to be taken out of consideration for a job you feel you can do, it's not unusual to be taken out of the running for certain pipeline jobs simply because you didn't look strong enough to handle the equipment or pipes this crew deals with on a daily basis. You'll also need to be able to perform under constrained and sometimes stressful conditions. Pipeline welders and laborers are exposed to the elements while placing sections of pipe, and you may not have much choice when it comes to welding pipe in subzero temperatures. 

If you're more mathematically inclined than mechanically inclined and would prefer to avoid some of the more extreme conditions to which welders and laborers are exposed, you may want to consider adding some engineering curriculum to your existing degree. Engineering the installation of an oil or natural gas pipeline can be both exciting and rewarding, and using your education in this manner could allow you to repay your student loans even sooner.

How quickly will a pipeline construction job allow you to repay your student loans? 

For those who choose to go into the welding business, you can expect to earn an average of around $38,000 per year or a little over $18.00 per hour. This pay may be significantly increased if you're expected to travel frequently or are stationed in a remote area away from your family. 

Those who go back to school or get the necessary certifications to work as an engineer can expect to earn an average of between $75,000 and $100,000 per year, allowing you to pay off even the heftiest student loans relatively quickly. For additional info, contact an oilfield pipeline company today.