Oil and gas pipeline engineering is available as an area of practice on the National Engineering Register (NER).

Engineers play a key role in our society and economy. Ensuring that engineers who work in the oil and gas sector are appropriately qualified and that they have the knowledge, experience and expertise required is essential to ensure Australia continues to build and operate its transmission pipelines safely, sustainably and efficiently. The ability to clearly recognise competent pipeline engineers is an important part of ensuring the safety of oil and gas pipelines.

Pipeline engineering is multidisciplinary, drawing on a broad range of general disciplines, including civil, chemical, mechanical and structural engineering. With the exception of Queensland, engineering is a self-regulating profession in Australia. Recognising the key role that registration can play in ensuring that standards are nationally protected and understood, and that the profession is portable, APGA has worked with the National Engineering Register (NER) to establish Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering as an area of practice. This means that appropriately qualified and experienced pipeline engineers whose competency is verified can apply to become registered in this area of practice in addition to their general area of practice, such as mechanical or civil engineering, or they can become Chartered in the area of practice of oil and gas pipeline engineering.

Assessment for registration is based on the APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System. Find out more about the competency standards. A Competency Panel of senior pipeline engineers and related professionals from across the major sectors of the industry sets and maintains the assessment criteria and methodology. Find out about the criteria from the NER website. Applications are assessed by an Assessment Panel which is made up of experienced current practitioners and has been established by the National Engineering Register and APGA. Assessment is based on evidence of achieving core and elected competencies that is verified by an experienced pipeline engineer.

Achieving the competencies to demonstrate the required breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and expertise is expected to take some time. APGA has designed a portfolio template, which enables pipeline engineers to record their knowledge and experience and have it verified contemporaneously. The portfolio is also required as part of the application for registration, so download the portfolio template from the resources on this page and start gathering the verifications now.

For engineers who practice in Queensland, or who supervise those who practice in Queensland, there is an additional benefit as the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (BPEQ) recognises pipeline engineering as an area of practice for Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) based on registration in the NER area of practice.

Registration as an Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering is open to engineers who have already registered as a professional engineer. Find out more about the National Engineering Register.

If you have questions about registration, check the FAQs first. If you don’t find the answer to your question, email APGA.

How to become a registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer

Eligibility for registration as an Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer is based on the APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency System. Applicants are required to submit a completed competency portfolio as part of their applications. The best way to ensure you have a complete, accurate and verified record of your work experience and competency is to download the APGA Pipeline Engineer Competency Portfolio template now and start filling it in.

To become a registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer, you must apply for registration on the National Engineering Register (NER) area of practice of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering. Registration as a pipeline engineer is open to Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) who can add it as an additional area of practice, or to those who are not yet Chartered who can apply to become chartered in the area of practice of Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineering. Find out more on the NER website.

The Guideline for Oil and Gas Pipeline Engingeering Registration, available on the NER website, explains the process. Registered Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineers will have both a breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and expertise. Breadth of understanding is demonstrated by achieving competency in a set of 25 core competency standards. These are:

RequirementCompetency ID and Name 
Seven mandatory competenciesGE001 Engineering degree in a relevant discipline
GE002 Pipeline engineering fundamentals
GE012 Technical governance
IB001   Industry participants and structure
IB002   Introduction to AS 2885
IB003   Related industries*
IB004   Legal frameworks and requirements for pipeline engineers
*Applicants required to demonstrate competency only in relation to the oil and gas industry, not in relation to water, minerals and chemicals industries.
Six of the nine bridging competenciesGE003 Mechanics (statics and dynamics) – bridging
GE004 Structures – bridging
GE005 Basic hydrocarbon and chemical properties – bridging
GE006 Soil mechanics – bridging
GE007 Fluid mechanics (hydraulics) – bridging
GE008 Materials – bridging
GE009 Principles of corrosion – bridging
GE010 Basic electricity and electronics – bridging
GE011 Basic instrumentation and control – bridging
Twelve of the remaining core competency standardsIB005 Introduction to plastics pipe standards – CSG, gas distribution and water distribution
CC001 Corrosion control fundamentals
IC001 Instrument and control fundamentals
RA001 Risk assessment fundamentals
SM001 Work health and safety fundamentals
CA001 Commercial aspects fundamentals
EH001 Environment and heritage fundamentals
EA001 ROW acquisition and management fundamentals
DP001 AS 2885.1 – Key concepts and application
DP002 Onshore pipeline design fundamentals
DS001 Station design fundamentals
RE001 Route engineering fundamentals
CE001 Construction engineering and management fundamentals
CE002 Construction equipment
PM001 Pipeline project management fundamentals
W001 Welding fundamentals
W002 AS 2885.2 Key concepts and application
W003 AS 3992 and ASME IX – Key concepts and application
HC001 Hydrotesting, commissioning and preparation for operations fundamentals
AM001 AS 2885.3 – Key concepts and application
AM002 Asset management fundamentals
OP001 Pipeline operation fundamentals
OP006 Pipeline repairs fundamentals
PS001 Pipeline management systems fundamentals
PP001 Key concepts in Standards for design, construction and operation of plastics pipe
PP002 Fundamentals of plastics pipe design
PP008 Fundamentals of plastics pipe construction
PP015 Fundamentals of operations of plastics pipe
CP001 Composite pipe fundamentals
Elective or specialist competenciesList of at least ten competencies. See explanation below.

Depth of understanding is demonstrated by attaining competency in a substantial set of elective or specialist competency standards relevant to one of the three streams: design, operation and maintenance, or construction. Typically, at least 10 elective competency standards would be required. While these do not have to be from a single competency area, they should amount to a coherent, related set of competencies that would enable a pipeline engineer to assume a substantive and responsible role in an organisation. You can search all of the competency standards to help design your career path or make an application.