News Brief: Five Pipeline Occupations Have Been Approved for Apprenticeship

News Brief

On Aug. 17, 2021, in a historical moment for Alaska and pipeline training across the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved the National Standards of Apprenticeship for the Alaska Safety Alliance (ASA) for five pipeline occupations:  

  • Pipeline Maintenance Technician. 

  • Pipeline Mechanical Technician. 

  • Pipeline Operations Technician. 

  • Pipeline E&I Technician. 

  • Pipeline Corrosion Technician. 

Traditionally, pipeline operators have concentrated on testing and qualifying individuals. Now, with a focus on the future workforce, the industry is looking to add training and apprenticeship options as well. 

After a discussion at an ASA meeting in 2019 with local operators and owners, the need for additional training was clear. Mandy Beaulieu, director of operations at ASA, worked hard on getting the apprenticeships approved for nearly two years.  

To gain a better understanding of the process, Beaulieu worked closely with John Hakala, Alaska’s U.S. DOL director of apprenticeship. She then reached out to Patty Bird, senior workforce development manager at NCCER, to outline job tasks pulled from NCCER's pipeline training program.

“This is truly allowing us to bring in the new generation of skilled workers to the oil and gas industry,” shares Beaulieu. “So much of what is done in these trades cannot be done in a classroom, and now contractors across the states have the ability to continue training and developing their workforce through apprenticeships.” 

In addition, members of the NCCER’s Pipeline User’s Council were able to review the job tasks and provide feedback as needed. The council has also been invested in finding new ways to recruit into the industry and train qualified individuals. 

“NCCER has always promoted safety and training in the skilled trades,” said Bird. “As we see the pipeline and energy industry investing in higher safety standards and better productivity, the apprenticeships are a win for everyone.”