Career Development

What Does a Pipeline Controller Do?

Find out what a pipeline controller does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a pipeline controller.

Pipeline controllers are responsible for monitoring and regulating the flow of materials through a pipeline. They monitor pressure, temperature, and other metrics to ensure that everything is running smoothly. If there’s an issue with the pipeline—a leak or rupture, for example—they may take additional steps to stop the flow of material until it can be repaired.

Pipeline Controller Job Duties

Pipeline controllers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Analyzing data and providing feedback to management in order to improve operations
  • Monitoring the status of shipments in real time to ensure they are delivered on time and within budget parameters
  • Maintaining records of all shipments in order to identify problems or issues with shipping practices
  • Preparing reports on shipping progress in order to help companies make decisions about future shipments
  • Recording information about incoming shipments such as weight, quantity, and source location
  • Communicating with customers about shipping status updates such as delays in delivery time or unexpected costs for shipping
  • Making sure that the correct shipping procedures are followed for each shipment
  • Coordinating with other departments in order to ensure that shipping schedules are met
  • Managing daily operations of a shipping company’s fleet or fleet of subcontractors

Pipeline Controller Salary & Outlook

Pipeline controllers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $145,000 ($69.71/hour)

The employment of pipeline controllers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for natural gas and oil will continue to drive the need for pipeline controllers. As pipelines are built, more controllers will be needed to monitor and control the flow of these resources.

Related: Pipeline Controller Interview Questions and Answers

Pipeline Controller Job Requirements

Pipeline controllers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a high school diploma or GED certificate is required to become a pipeline controller. Some employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as engineering or business administration.

Training & Experience: Most pipeline controllers receive on-the-job training, which may last for a few weeks to a few months. This training may include shadowing a current pipeline controller and performing duties under supervision until they are comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Several certifications are useful for pipeline controllers to gain more knowledge about their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities.

Pipeline Controller Skills

Pipeline controllers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another important skill for pipeline controllers. They often work with a team of other pipeline controllers, engineers and other professionals, so they need to be able to clearly convey information to their colleagues. They also need to be able to listen to feedback from their colleagues and adjust their processes accordingly.

Leadership: Pipeline controllers often work with a team of other pipeline controllers, and they may also work with other professionals in the oil and gas industry. Leadership skills can help pipeline controllers to motivate their teams and to work with others to solve problems. Leadership skills can also help pipeline controllers to develop their team members and to help them grow in their careers.

Problem-solving: As a pipeline controller, you may be responsible for identifying and resolving issues that arise during the construction of a pipeline. This may include identifying the source of a problem, devising a solution and implementing the solution. For example, if a piece of equipment malfunctions, you may be responsible for identifying the problem and finding a solution to fix it.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. As a pipeline controller, critical thinking is an important skill to have because you often have to make decisions about the status of the pipeline and what actions to take to ensure its safety.

Project management: Pipeline controllers often use project management skills to plan and execute their duties. They may use these skills to create schedules, track project progress and ensure that the pipeline is operating as intended. Project management skills can help pipeline controllers to be successful in their careers.

Pipeline Controller Work Environment

Pipeline controllers work in control rooms located near the pipelines they monitor. The control room is typically a small, windowless room that is filled with computer equipment, monitors, and other electronic equipment. Pipeline controllers work in shifts, and they may be required to work overtime or be on call. They usually work in teams of two or three, and they take turns monitoring the pipeline and responding to any problems that may arise. Because they work in close proximity to the equipment they are monitoring, pipeline controllers are exposed to noise and vibration. They may also be exposed to hazardous materials if there is a leak in the pipeline.

Pipeline Controller Trends

Here are three trends influencing how pipeline controllers work. Pipeline controllers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Data-Driven Decisions

The need for more data-driven decisions is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity in business circles. This is because data can provide valuable insights into how to make better decisions, which can lead to increased profits and success.

Pipelines controllers can take advantage of this trend by becoming experts in data analysis. By doing so, they will be able to provide valuable information to their company’s decision makers, which can help them make better decisions that are based on facts rather than assumptions.

More Focus on Cybersecurity

As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly important issue, pipeline controllers will need to focus on ensuring that their pipelines are secure.

This means that pipeline controllers will need to be familiar with the latest cybersecurity threats and how to protect against them. They will also need to be able to identify potential vulnerabilities in their pipelines and develop solutions to mitigate those risks.

Greater Attention to Compliance

As businesses become more complex, the need for compliance professionals has grown. Pipeline controllers are in a unique position to capitalize on this trend, as they are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a pipeline are compliant with regulations.

By developing expertise in compliance, pipeline controllers can ensure that their company is in line with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, they can also help to create a culture of compliance within their company, which can have a positive impact on its overall performance.

How to Become a Pipeline Controller

A career as a pipeline controller can be rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start your journey by learning the basics of pipeline control systems, which will give you a foundation in the field. You should also take advantage of opportunities to network with other professionals in the industry. This will help you build relationships that can lead to new job opportunities down the road.

As you progress in your career, it’s important to continue learning and developing your skills. Take on projects that challenge you and allow you to expand your knowledge base. Additionally, stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in the pipeline control industry.

Advancement Prospects

Pipeline controllers who demonstrate strong leadership skills may be promoted to management positions. In larger organizations, they may advance to positions such as operations manager or director of operations. As they gain experience, pipeline controllers may also move into other related roles such as project manager, construction manager, or field engineer.

Pipeline Controller Job Description Example

The Pipeline Controller is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the natural gas pipeline system. This position is also responsible for the coordination of all activities related to the pipeline system, including the development of operating and maintenance procedures, the scheduling of maintenance activities, the training of personnel, and the development of emergency response plans. The Pipeline Controller must have a thorough knowledge of the natural gas pipeline system and the ability to effectively communicate with other members of the pipeline operations team.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain an up-to-date understanding of the company’s products, services, and processes
  • Monitor all aspects of the sales pipeline, from initial customer contact through to close of sale
  • Work with the sales team to ensure that opportunities are properly qualified and that the sales process is being followed
  • Update the CRM system with accurate information on a daily basis
  • Prepare weekly and monthly reports on pipeline activity
  • Identify any potential roadblocks in the sales process and work with the relevant parties to resolve them
  • Escalate any issues that cannot be resolved at the lower level
  • Assist with the development and implementation of new sales strategies
  • Train new members of the sales team on the use of the CRM system and the sales process
  • Provide feedback to management on the effectiveness of sales strategies
  • Attend sales meetings and provide input on pipeline activity
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or related field
  • 10+ years proven accounting experience
  • Professional accounting certification, including CMA, CGA, or CA
  • Working knowledge of finance law and regulatory standards (GAAP)
  • Strong understanding of economic and banking processes
  • 5+ years experience as a senior-level accounting or finance manager

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Strong working knowledge of detailed financial data analysis
  • Proven payroll experience, with a focus on streamlining accounting processes
  • Exemplary history of financial project management
  • Working knowledge of federal, state, and local tax compliance regulations and reporting
  • CPA highly preferred


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