Among the unions in the UA, Pipeliners Local 798 is unique. The Local doesn’t represent a specific region. Members span the entire country. Instead, Local 798 represents a particular trade — those working in the pipeline industry.
Every member of Local 798 is a pipeline worker, though their roles in servicing those pipelines vary. The Local is made up of nearly 3,400 skilled welders, 650 journeymen spacers who lineup pipes and carry out hydrostatic testing of pipelines and 4,200 helpers who assist welders.
Local 798 members have worked on projects in 49 states and various countries across the globe.
Like any other union, Local 798 strives to advocate for the rights of its members and to encourage the training of the next generation of pipeliners.
Both advocacy and educational outreach bring strength to the Local and ensure members are able to lead happy and productive lives that provide for their families.
Local 798 fights for high pay, full health care coverage, quality retirement benefits — plus the right to work on a safe and healthy labor site. The Union fervently maintains that each and every worker should return home in the same condition they began their shift each day.
That level of safety benefits both workers and contractors alike. Contractors endure fewer accidents, which means fewer shutdowns and costly delays. Local 798 consistently provides its signatory contractors with a skilled workforce that gets the job done to a high standard of quality, on time, at or under budget.
Good pay, strong demand: Pipeliner as a union career
In 2022, there were over 205,000 oil and gas line construction employees in the U.S. — a number that’s expected to grow 5.6 percent this year, according to research firm IBISWorld.
“Getting into this field is not that difficult, and there should be an increase in the number of available jobs in the coming year,” writes Danielle Smyth for The Houston Chronicle. “This kind of responsibility also comes with competitive pay rates, so becoming a pipeliner could be a satisfying, long-term career choice.”
Pay can range anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
“Belonging to a union can make a difference since these organizations normally negotiate the pay rates and benefits,” Smyth said. “It is possible that union pipeline wages could be higher than non-union ones.”
That’s why the Pipeliners Local 798 exists — to fight for higher wages and a better life for its members.
Decent pay begins on day one — pipeliner apprentices earn while they learn, with steady pay raises as they progress through the program. They get full health care benefits for their families and work toward a quality retirement.