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Building nearly 1,200 miles of pipeline across the United States is expected to bring about 9, 000 construction jobs to the economy. TransCanada, the company responsible for the project, has already entered into agreements with the major labor and trade organizations, so the groundwork has already been completed to hire pipe and steamfitters, plumbers, pipeline contractors, welders, heavy machinery operators, construction foremen, engineers, and general laborers.
There is some debate as to whether or not these will be seasonal positions that run for a few months, for the two years the project is expected to take, or permanent jobs.
Indirect, Service, and Induced
The second category of jobs that will be created by the Keystone Pipeline includes indirect, service, and induced jobs. The U.S. Department of State estimated that around 42,000 jobs could be created to meet the demand for construction materials (e.g., the delivery and manufacturing of pipes); food and lodging; healthcare; education; and other areas in which workers may spend money (e.g., entertainment venues).
Although the number is being disputed, it’s logical to assume that those working on the pipeline would need or want to spend money in these areas. Therefore, the pipeline should create more jobs in these areas: truck drivers, wait staff, front desk clerks, nurses, instructors, ticket takers, etc.
The last category of jobs the Keystone Pipeline should create fall under the category of maintenance. Both the Department of State and TransCanada agree that there would be about 50 permanent jobs associated with the Keystone Pipeline once the project is finished. These positions would be involved with maintaining the pipeline and making sure the oil flows from its source to the refineries. These jobs would include some of the ones listed above, but more specifically pipeline operators, pipeline supervisors, pipeline walkers, and pipeliners.
Regardless of the actual number of jobs or the length of the positions, the Keystone Pipeline is expected to provide some good opportunities for those seeking employment in the affected areas. Even if positions are not permanent, you may be able to gain some valuable job experience while enjoying a good salary and benefits.