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What does a pipeline inspector do?

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Quick Answer

Pipeline inspectors ensure that the pipeline systems of utilities companies meet federal and state standards for quality and operation. These inspectors also determine whether the companies being inspected follow environmental regulations and meet building code requirements.

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What does a pipeline inspector do?
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Full Answer

To determine whether pipeline systems measure up to required standards, pipeline inspectors look for potential dangers and perform a number of specialized tests. Visual inspection for corrosion factors may be involved in the process. Inspectors test the depth and alignment of trenches used and ensure that potentially damaging stone and debris stand clear of the pipeline. Additional inspection duties include electronic crawler inspections, and X-ray, magnetic particle and ultrasonic tests may also be performed for greater accuracy and safety.

While entry-level pipeline inspector positions often don't require specialized education, many inspectors attain higher education to ensure upward mobility in this profession. Degrees in architecture, engineering or construction aid pipeline inspectors looking to move up to mid-level and senior inspector positions. A Certified Welding Inspector certification increases the chances of success of those seeking to become a pipeline inspector. As of 2014, the median average salary for pipeline inspectors is $73,455, and projected job growth in the construction and building inspection sector from 2012 to 2022 is around 12 percent.

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