Many pipeline construction companies require job candidates to perform a 6G or 6GR weld test to pipe before being hired. This assures employers that welders can perform difficult structural welding tasks in narrow or hard-to-reach spaces. The test is similar to the ASME section IX pipe welding certification, combining and transitioning between all structural and pipe welding positions.
The first step in becoming a pipeline welder is to become a certified welder; afterwards, welders can become apprentices to gain the experience required to apply for pipeline welding work. Pipeline companies often hire welders for lower-paid positions. Workers can then move up through the company to earn better pay. Some pipeline welders may need to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card or a Confined Spaces certification before being hired for a particular job. This applies to work on secure government facilities or in dangerous places.
TheFabricator.com reports that employers value pipeline welders with good technical skills. Welders who understand metallurgy are in demand, because they can best judge which welding technique to use at a given time. Employers also favor welders who understand the welding process and machinery, existing codes and any changes in codes or processes. Employees with good communication skills are desirable because they can help a construction team to work more efficiently.
The Pipeliners Union 748 United Association helps its members obtain work through the Job Line. Members who sign up for the Job Line apply for posted jobs that lie within their certification and skill level. Pipeline welders on the list who have been out of work the longest are eligible to receive the first calls regarding employment. Those who have received more than 300 hours of National Agreement pipeline welding employment are dropped from the Job Line list.