Many pipeline jobs require a little more experience or specialized knowledge, but overall many of the entry-level jobs on a pipeline operation simply require a person who is capable of doing the work. A pipelaying fitter is responsible for helping with the alignment of pipes being laid to form the pipeline. The alignment is necessary to ensure that the pieces are in the proper position before the pipeline welders get to work. Failure to align the pipes correctly before welding can result in lost time and possible leakage when oil is finally run through the pipeline.
Pipelaying fitters are responsible for making sure that the crane operators lowering the sections of pipe into the trench are signaled when a new piece of pipe is needed or when one in the trench needs to be moved slightly into alignment.
A cursory inspection of the joined sections is also carried out by the pipelaying fitter as the work progresses. Personnel in this position may also be asked to install equipment, machines or wiring as related to the laying of the pipeline sections. Someone looking to get into this position should have a good knowledge of machines, including their design, uses, repair and maintenance procedures.
Persons looking to become good pipelaying fitters should have the ability to quickly move your hands and feet and manipulate various objects quickly and easily with both hands at once.
A high degree of flexibility is also required to get into and move around the pipeline trenches easily and without any problems. You must also be able to hold your hands in one position for long periods of time (while the crane operator lowers another section of pipe for example).
You should have good lower body strength so that your body doesn't get tired too easily from standing in one spot or lifting objects repeatedly during your shift. Because this is an entry-level position the salary is among the lower scale on an oil field project with pipelaying fitters generally earning $45,000 to $70,000 annually, depending on the location of the work.