A career as a top pipeline engineer encompasses more than just technical know-how and relevant experience. A pipeline job involves a multitude of skills that extend further than the application of mathematical and physical theory, such as creativity, adaptability and communication.
Below we explore the non-technical side of a pipeline job, taking into consideration the key skills that are necessary for a pipeline engineer to thrive in this field.
What are the key skills needed for a pipeline engineering job?
In today’s crowded marketplace, soft skills play a hugely important role in landing a top pipeline job. It’s not enough to have the technical know-how, but rather to have a varied skillset to set you apart from the competition, as well as an awareness of political, social and business concerns relating to an engineering project.
The multifaceted nature to engineering and the challenges that pipeline engineers face means that engineers need to engage with more than the task at hand - they need to engage with the bigger picture, such as the political and economic implications of any given project. In order to engage effectively, they should be able to:
Engineers can tend to prioritise technical skills over communication skills, but communication is an essential skill for pipeline engineers. Pipeline engineers cannot be successful in their jobs without being able to speak, write and listen effectively. Interaction with others, whether internally or externally, can lead to misunderstandings without an effective line of communication at all times.
Creativity drives innovation, and innovation drives success. There is an-going need for those in technical jobs to possess a creative skillset, because it is this innovation that leads to pioneering thinking, and the development of products and services. In the field of pipeline engineering, innovation is just as valuable as technical skills to help identify and amend errors.
Top pipeline engineers benefit greatly from being able to adapt to challenges that are thrown their way. Having an ability and an understanding to adjust accordingly to different environments and situations is what sets leading pipeline engineers apart from mediocre ones. Adaptability can be demonstrated by pipeline engineers being able to think on their feet, shrewdly assess problems, and find solutions.
In the context of pipeline engineering, showing leadership is about being bold and making decisions in the face of uncertainty, and delivering a project on time even if there are obstacles in the way. For example, a pipeline engineer could be working on a project located in Alaska, or another offshore drilling project where they may need extra training. A pipeline engineer with strong leadership skills would be able to assess any risks and take initiative.
How do these skills benefit top pipeline engineering careers?
Top pipeline engineers need a varied skillset to be successful in solving real world problems, rather than relying on technical expertise alone. No pipeline engineer can be expected to deal with certain challenges that arise single-handedly, and so it is through communication and collaboration with individuals from different sectors and cultures in which they will thrive.
In addition, those in top pipeline jobs should have inquisitive minds, in order to come up with innovative solutions to problems and inspire creativity within their field. They should also be adaptable, and know how to adjust to new surroundings, to ensure a project runs successfully. Keen leadership skills are also essential for pipeline engineers to be able to function at a top level.
All of these soft skills are critical for pipeline engineers to flourish in their field. In addition to the technical expertise needed for pipeline jobs, engineers who can also demonstrate that they have a well-rounded and varied skillset will certainly add value in the field of pipeline engineering.
At TRS, we have a wide range of pipeline job opportunities, from Spain and the Netherlands to the Middle East. To browse the latest vacancies, visit the Pipeline Engineering Jobs section and apply today.