Brief description of the position:
There are enough natural gas pipelines in the U.S. to reach to the moon and back three times. Someone needs to be in charge of designing and operating these pipelines. Pipeline engineers plan and design oil and gas pipelines to transport fuels to different communities across the country. Some pipeline engineers are involved in offshore drilling projects, which can require extra training. Pipeline engineers are also concerned with quality control for the pipelines that are currently in use. They may also be asked to do field work while troubleshooting problems with pipelines. Most pipeline engineers are employed by oil and gas companies, but some work for government agencies and focus primarily on regulations.
Between $107,000-$117,000, or, $8,900-$9,700/month
Secondary and Postsecondary Education
Pipeline engineers need to be familiar with engineering, construction, and planning. They should have a background from high school in chemistry, calculus, and physics. In college, pipeline engineers need to study principles such as fluid mechanics, higher-level chemistry, environmental sciences, and even geology. Pipeline engineers regularly use software programs to model fuel flow, to map potential pipeline routes, and to draft future construction projects. They typically have a bachelor's degree in fields such as petroleum, mechanical, or chemical engineering. Some universities have programs in oil and gas engineering. Pipeline engineers will need to pass both the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams.