risk level
Based on 13 votes
-2.6 %
by year 2032
or $22.75 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

50% (Moderate Risk)

Moderate Risk (41-60%): Occupations with a moderate risk of automation usually involve routine tasks but still require some human judgment and interaction.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Finger Dexterity

User poll

48% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 50% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Pipelayers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


Very slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Pipelayers' job openings is expected to decline 2.6% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Pipelayers' was $47,330, or $22 per hour

'Pipelayers' were paid 1.5% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Lower range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 34,840 people employed as 'Pipelayers' within the United States.

This represents around < 0.001% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 4 thousand people are employed as 'Pipelayers'.

Job description

Lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.

SOC Code: 47-2151.00


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h (Low) says
It's certainly seeming to be a repetitive job, but you'll need very complex robots to take care of it
Mar 10, 2020 at 05:56 PM
Chris says
We lay pipe, repair broken water mains, install and repair fire hydrants, repair water main valves, repair street patches from previous digs. The most in depth thing that’s happened over the past 8 years of being there, we’ve gone from using paper maps with pipe size and locations with books that have valve locations, to a computer that has your gps location with all the valves and pipes around you. That and the breaker that goes on a back hoe to bust up the street. That’s about it for robotic advancements for us. You still have to drill the street to isolate the leak for a dig location. Dig around utilities if others are in the way. Such a complicated under paid gig to be doing year round up north with lines breaking all winter.
Mar 13, 2021 at 02:29 AM

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