As a pipeline inspector, you are responsible for ensuring the quality of the work being performed while keeping workers safe. Before you can become a pipeline inspector, it can be helpful to gain experience performing pipeline installation. That way, you will be familiar with the tools and methods used to perform this type of work. Gaining supervisory experience in this field can give you an advantage over other applicants. Many areas require licensing as well as certification in hazardous materials for those who wish to work in pipeline inspection.
Before you can become a pipeline inspector, you should know as much as possible about this trade. The best way to do this is by starting as a general contractor for a company that installs many types of pipe systems to become familiar with different systems and how pipeline installation is done. This knowledge is important because pipeline inspectors are often relied on to make changes in the way work is performed in order to meet safety and quality specifications.
You may want to ask your supervisor to train you in repairing pipeline damage. This will give you a solid background in pipeline inspection as well as help you learn the methods of repairing pipe systems. Knowledge of both can be valuable for you to add to a resume as you try to become a pipeline inspector.
It can be a good idea to find out what local laws are that concern pipeline inspectors. Some jurisdictions may require you to pass a licensing exam before you can become a pipeline inspector. If this is the case, taking the test can be a smart decision even if your company does not have any openings in this area. When a position does become available, you will already be qualified to do the job of a pipeline inspector. This could give you an edge over other applicants, especially those from outside the organization.
Hazardous material training can help you become a pipeline inspector. This is especially true if you are involved in installing pipe systems to carry natural gas or oil. You may want to check with a local community college or an environmental agency in your area to see what types of training are available. If you do decide to take courses, it can be a good idea to find out if the training certification expires after certain period. Staying up-to-date in these areas shows motivation on your part, helping you distinguish yourself from other applicants when seeking work.