Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Pipeline Construction Inspector

Pipeline construction inspectors oversee a range of activities from pipeline construction to site restoration. They make sure technical requirements are followed. They also promote safe work practices and environmental stewardship.

Also Known As

Construction Inspector, Pipeline Foreman, Pipeline Inspector

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 2264: Construction Inspectors

2006 NOC-S

  • C164: Construction Inspectors

2011 NOC

  • 2264: Construction inspectors

2016 NOC

  • 2264: Construction inspectors

2021 NOC

  • 22233: Construction inspectors

2023 OaSIS

  • 22233.00: Construction inspectors
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Pipeline construction inspectors represent the pipeline owner on the construction site. They evaluate worksite activities to ensure that the contractor and workers follow:

  • Company specifications and policies
  • Government regulations
  • Environmental requirements
  • Landowner requirements

They have the authority to stop work if conditions or activities pose a danger to a person, property, or the environment.

In general, pipeline construction inspectors:

  • Complete required reports including daily inspection reports and weekly progress reports.
  • Relay survey and right-of-way information to the construction manager.
  • Correct deviations from requirements. For example, they ensure staff wear proper personal protective equipment, and pipe that crosses a watercourse is installed correctly.
  • Confirm the contractor’s operators have proper training.
  • Assist in preparing incident reports.
  • Participate in daily meetings to address issues such as quality, job safety, or environmental concerns.
  • Identify lessons learned and participate in sessions to support these lessons.
  • Review construction drawings, specifications, conditions, work plans, and procedures.
  • Identify materials (i.e. heat numbers, material specifications, joint preparation).​

Pipeline construction inspection includes several specializations.

Crossings inspectors are involved when a pipeline construction project crosses the path of a utility or another pipeline. Their understanding of crossing methods help them to ensure that:

  • The construction team follows regulations for open excavation crossings.
  • The owner company and any third-party owners coordinate activities.
  • Workers locating underground facilities use accepted procedures and techniques.
  • The construction team uses proper excavation methods when they are near the pipe.
  • All features and offsets are located and marked.
  • All stakes and flags remain visible for the entire project.

Trenchless crossings inspectors work where the crossing cannot be excavated, such as a river or road. This generally happens during horizontal directional drilling or some form of tunneling such as direct pipe. They ensure that the crossing design satisfies both the drilling company and the owner company. They also:

  • Ensure entry and exit locations are safe
  • Make sure entry and exit locations meet constraints within crossing agreements and company specifications
  • Ensure the direction or angle of the bore has not changed from the intended drill path
  • Monitor for drilling mud migration

Earthworks inspectors are also known as craft inspectors. They oversee construction activities during the clearing, grading, ditching, and excavating phases. Earthworks inspectors make sure the team follows proper procedure when they:

  • Cut, burn, or remove trees, brush, and debris from the right-of-way
  • Prepare and maintain right-of-way accesses
  • Locate buried utility lines
  • Strip and store topsoil for redistribution after the pipe has been backfilled
  • Blast, excavate, and remove rock at grade

Pipe handling inspectors oversee pipe handling activities during construction, which include:

  • Stockpiling pipe materials
  • Stringing the pipe together
  • Bending the pipe
  • Lowering the pipe into the ditch


  • Inspect and log all materials received
  • Ensure pipe joints are properly laid out along the pipeline right-of-way
  • Confirm that, when pipes are bent in the field, they are bent within correct limits
  • Confirm that no damage occurs to the pipe or the coating
  • Inspect operations when lowering the pipe into the trench to avoid damage to the pipe or coating

Coating inspectors monitor adherence to company requirements for pipeline coating. They ensure that:

  • The construction team identifies and repairs all pipe-coating damage before they lower the pipe.
  • The backfill material is suitable.
  • The team places backfill material in the trench in a way that does not damage the pipe or coating.

Welding inspectors oversee welding operations. In general, they:

  • Monitor welders’ work to make sure they follow welding-related designs, drawings, and specifications
  • Check welders’ qualification records to specific processes
  • Confirm that personal protective equipment is in good condition and that welders use it

Pressure testing inspectors carry out pressure testing to confirm that the pipeline has acceptable strength. Before the pipe goes into service, they ensure that it will not leak under operating conditions. To do this, they:

  • Check that all required permits, plans, and calculations are approved and in place before testing starts
  • Review and confirm that all testing equipment is in good condition before testing starts
  • Make sure operations follow the pressure-testing plan
  • Ensure appropriate response in the event of a rupture or leak

Environmental inspectors ensure construction activities comply with environmental permits and requirements at all times. They monitor activities such as soil and water erosion, habitat damage, and air, noise and water pollution. They also follow the company’s environmental protection plan (EPP) related to:

  • Watercourses
  • Wetlands, muskeg, and swamp areas
  • Wildlife habitats
  • Migratory routes
  • Archaeological sites

Safety inspectors uphold company and industry standards to ensure safety, minimize risk, and avoid hazards at the work site. They:

  • Plan, schedule, and conduct safety meetings
  • Promote a safe working environment by communicating project issues and solutions
  • Ensure emergency medical services are available and meet requirements
  • Make sure all workers follow requirements for use of personal protective equipment
  • Enforce a “stop work” order if a safety situation arises

Maintenance inspectors oversee a range of activities on operating pipelines, so their duties overlap with other specializations. In general, they:

  • Monitor investigative digs and repairs such as buffing (smoothing the surface)
  • Monitor other areas, such as earthworks, welding, and crossings
  • Ensure cathodic protection systems are properly installed or upgraded

Chief inspectors are highly skilled and experienced individuals. They understand the inspection requirements for all of the pipeline construction phases. They oversee the specialized pipeline construction inspectors on the job site. Their specific duties vary depending on where they work.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 12, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Pipeline construction inspectors typically work on a contract basis. Jobs are available for 10 to 12 months of the year. Inspectors work on 1 project at a time for its duration, typically 3 to 6 months. Their workload varies depending on each project.

Pipeline construction inspectors work outdoors in different weather conditions and terrain. On some projects, they may need to travel to remote locations. Meeting construction deadlines can make for long workdays.

Inspectors spend a lot of time on their feet. They typically do not need to lift heavy objects.

Inspectors wear personal protective equipment at all job sites.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Construction Inspectors

2006 NOC: 2264

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in handling equipment and materials to inspect steel framework, concrete forms, reinforcing steel mesh and rods, concrete and pre-stressed concrete to ensure quality standards; and in inspecting construction sites to ensure safe working conditions are maintained


Interest in analyzing data from inspection of sites to verify that they conform to specifications and building codes, and from inspections and tests of electrical and plumbing installations to ensure that they comply with municipal, provincial and federal regulations


Interest in speaking with purchasers to inspect, assess and provide reports on new and resale homes; and in inspecting existing buildings to identify and report on structural defects, fire hazards and other threats to safety

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Pipeline construction inspectors need:

  • Maturity and confidence
  • Sound judgement and logical reasoning
  • Leadership skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • The ability to navigate using digital mapping
  • The ability to commit to a task and then follow through
  • The ability to cooperate with project team members and guide the job to completion
  • The ability to resist pressure to ignore a problem

Pipeline construction inspectors should enjoy:

  • Interpreting plans and drawings
  • Preparing reports
  • Having clear rules and organized methods for their work

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Construction inspectors

2016 NOC: 2264

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 19 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 30, 2021 and May 21, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Type of Inspection: New and existing buildings
Tasks: Examine plans, drawings and site layouts
Tasks: Ensure compliance to drawings, specifications and building codes
Tasks: Inspect construction of building and engineering construction
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Health benefits: Dental plan
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 12, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most specializations in pipeline construction inspection require a high school diploma or equivalent.

The industry has developed training programs for many specializations. Some specializations have additional requirements. For example, environmental inspectors need a post-secondary diploma or degree in a related field. Welding inspectors and coating inspectors must complete specific training and certification requirements.

Employers may accept combinations of education, experience, and certifications. People interested in becoming inspectors should check with the relevant organization or certifying body.

For more information on the requirements for each specialization, see Centre for Pipeline Knowledge.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 12, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

Most employers in Alberta require API 1169 certification as a minimum.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the pipeline industry co-developed the API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector certification program.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Pipeline construction inspectors work with:

  • Pipeline construction companies
  • Pipeline owner operators

A company may hire an inspector as a regular employee. But most large construction companies in Alberta hire pipeline construction inspectors as contractors.

As a contractor, pipeline construction inspectors usually set up a business and supply their own equipment. To set up a business, an inspector needs:

  • A business number
  • Commercial liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance or equivalent

Self-employed pipeline construction inspectors also need:

  • A valid class 5 driver’s license
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • A vehicle, preferably a pick-up truck or SUV
  • A laptop computer or tablet for filling out digital forms
  • A mobile phone connected to a major network

Pipeline construction inspection is not an entry-level position. Employers generally want to hire experienced individuals. Many pipeline construction inspectors began their careers by working for a pipeline construction company. They often start out in roles such as excavating or pipeline coating.

An inspector in any specialization can become a chief inspector. Chief inspectors often have over 10 years of inspection experience in at least 2 specializations.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2264: Construction inspectors occupational group, 83.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2264: Construction inspectors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 121 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 12, 2021

According to Jiva Consulting, new pipeline construction inspectors can expect an annual compensation of $90,000 (2019 estimate). However, a third of individuals currently employed as pipeline inspectors earn over $250,000 per year (includes vehicle and living expenses).

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Construction inspectors

2016 NOC: 2264
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2264 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.50 $48.90 $32.50 $32.00
Overall $26.44 $56.23 $39.95 $39.08
Top $28.85 $60.30 $44.45 $42.84

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 12, 2021

American Petroleum Institute (API) website, certification program:

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) website:

Jiva School of Energy website, career resources:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 12, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?