After I graduate high school, my plan is to start a career in pipeline. Pipeline is a growing business and is starting to expand in West Virginia. It is an important part of the Petroleum Industry because it is safe and reliable, and it also provides the things we need for everyday activities. Driving your car or flying to another state requires fuel, which is delivered by pipeline. You buy the things that you need at a grocery store, and those shelves are stocked with items that were delivered by trucks powered by diesel fuel. During the winter time the heaters we use are powered by natural gas or other liquids, and that is all delivered by pipeline. In the United States, we rely on over 334421.6832 kilometers of liquid pipelines, 482803.2 kilometers of gas transmission pipelines, and 3.3796224 kilometers of gas distribution pipelines to move energy and raw materials that fuel our nation’s economy. (http://www.pipeline101.org)
In the 1830’s, they used iron pipe. The use of pipe began soon after the drilling of the first commercial oil well in 1859 by “”Colonel”” Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania. The first pipes were basic and short, so they could get oil from drill holes to tanks and refineries that were close in location. The demand for oil was on the rise which led to more wells and the need for transportation of products to markets also grew. In order to transport products, they used to use teamster wagons, wooden pipes, and rail. This paved the way for the development of more efficient and longer pipes/pipelines. In the 1860’s, the pipeline business had continued to grow, and the quality control of pipe manufacturing became the real deal. They switched from wrought iron pipes to steel pipes. Technology continues to improve the quality of pipeline with better pipes, better ways to install the pipes, and ways to observe the pipes once they are in the ground to test for quality. Safety regulations are also evolving because of a better understanding and techniques. Today, the pipeline industry uses advanced controls and computer systems, better pipe materials, and corrosion prevention skills to provide for all of America, and other countries.
I chose to go into pipeline for a few reasons. I love to travel and when you are on pipeline, you go to different places often. In an interview done with a man named Benny, he talks about how he joined the army right out of high school and worked for twenty-six years. After he retired, Benny and his wife liked to travel, and he discovered his second career by roaming around. He had no intentions of working again and planned to live off of his retirement and disability which was $5,000 a month. They were about to sell their house whenever Benny ran into an old friend who was in the oil and gas industry. Even though Benny told his friend that he wasn’t interested, he had already set up the interview. He was hired. In the interview done about Benny’s job, he says “”From November 2013 to present we have lived in six different places, (all in Texas so far). We lived on TiKi island for three months at Tiki Tom’s RV park and loved it as it was right on the water and close to the beach. When we are not staying in RV parks we live right on the job site for free. We connect to the power, water and sewer and tap into the Wi-Fi as well. (Kind of like boondocking but better, and its free) They let us stay there for free in exchange for “”Night Watch”” “”Security””. Just having someone on site keeps things from walking away.”” (www.gonewiththewynns.com) This sounds like a dream come true to me, and I hope that when I join the pipeline, I will be able to travel like this and see new places. Another reason I want to join is because of the money. The average salary for a pipeline technician in Charleston, West Virginia is $52,317. The average salary in Wheeling and Morgantown is $56,161. ( https://www1.salary.com) I’m not entirely sure of where I will go yet, or who I’ll work for, but it all depends on where the Union hall wants me. I plan to stay on pipeline for a while and get promoted as high as possible so I’m able to make enough money to buy my own property and provide for a family.
As a pipeline technician, I will be responsible for the maintenance and good operation of a gas or oil pipeline system. I will troubleshoot, test, maintain, and fix pipeline equipment which could be valves, filtration systems, and operators. Periodic inspections and regular daily maintenance on the pipeline system is expected. I will have to do maintenance records, service reports, and other required documents. This job can be very dangerous though. Back in 2016, two men were working on a gas pipeline during routine maintenance, and the equipment failed, and one man died on the scene and the other passed away later at the hospital. (www.mypipelinetraining.org) It is important to be educated in this field of work so things like this don’t happen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 fatal work injuries happened in the United States in the year of 2016. It went up from 2015. (www.bls.gov) I know this risk, but I can accept it. Anything can be dangerous. To be accepted for an entry level job, I will have to have a high school diploma, which I will have. I will also have to have a general understanding of the basics to be hired. (https://swz.salary.com) I plan to work as many hours as I can, but it depends on where I will be working. If I work here in West Virginia, I want to work as many hours as possible and be able to come home every day. A few companies that are hiring right now in WV are Dominion Energy in Morgantown, Maine Drilling and Blasting in Charleston, and Michels Corporation in Buckhannon. (www.indeed.com) If I have to work out of state, I’ll be okay with coming home on the weekends.
After I work for as long as I can, I plan on retiring. I don’t plan on getting another job after I retire, I hope to live off of my retirement money which is why I’m going to work as long as I can before any health problems catch up to me. I want to sit down with my family and spend time with them. When I have kids, I want to be able to help them pay for college or get them anything they want. Working pipeline will be a hard job, but in the end, it will be worth it. Graduating high school seems scary to me, but I hope that everything works out and I can have a good career that will also give me a good life.
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