Pile driver

Pile drivers take control of massive machines like piling rigs, diesel hammers, hydraulic impact hammers, and modified excavators to install steel, concrete, and wood pilings during the early stages of construction. Skill, knowledge, and accuracy are crucial because these pilings hold back the earth during excavation; stabilize ground conditions for bridges, tunnels, and docks; and ensure the safety of everyone on the job site. Some pile drivers are also commercial divers who tackle underwater welding and construction projects.

Work Performed by Pile Drivers

Pile drivers rely on careful planning and a solid understanding of load-carrying capacities, gauging hammer performance, and how to accommodate for lateral, compression, or tension loads. As a pile driver apprentice, these are just a few of the jobs you’ll have the opportunity to take on:

  • Weld, cut, and install piles, plates, lagging, and contact sheets
  • Form and pour concrete foundations for bridges, docks, and wharfs
  • Assemble, operate, and disassemble all pile driving equipment
  • Assist with rigging, loading, and offloading of job materials

Pile Driver Apprenticeship Program Overview

To graduate from pile driver apprentice to journeyworker, you’ll complete 7,000 hours of on-the-job training (OJT) and 640 hours of classroom learning. Completion hours may vary depending on the region you belong to. Pile driver apprentices will be evaluated through demonstrations of skill and technique, and standard knowledge exams.

Contact your local training center to learn more >

Average earnings for all first-year students:

  • $30,675-$42,535 + benefits*

Sample courses:

  • OSHA, construction fall protection, aerial lift, rough terrain forklift
  • Introduction to Pile Driving
  • Rigging Techniques for Pile Drivers
  • Oxygen and Acetylene Cutting, First-Aid/CPR/AED

On-the-job training & classroom hours:

  • 1,750 hours of OJT
  • 160 hours of classroom

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings for all second-year students:

  • $41,835-$58,000 + benefits*

Sample courses:

  • Pile Driver Welding Level 1 – T-joint and V-groove welding
  • Crane and Rig Setup
  • Pile Driver Welding Level 2 – circular pile welding
  • Pile Driver Welding Level 3 – limited and vertical welding

On-the-job training & classroom hours:

  • 1,750 hours of OJT
  • 160 hours of classroom

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings for all third-year students:

  • $47,400-$65,730 + benefits*

Sample courses:

  • Blueprints and Layouts
  • Bridge – falsework setup and teardown
  • Pile Driver Welding – FCAW welding (40 hours)
  • Rigging

On-the-job training & classroom hours:

  • 1,750 hours of OJT
  • 160 hours of classroom

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings for all fourth-year students:

  • $52,980-$73,465 + benefits*

Sample courses:

  • Exclusion Retention Structures
  • Formwork – footings, slabs, decks
  • Earth Strata and Retaining Structures
  • Pile Driver Welding – AWS Certification

On-the-job training & classroom hours:

  • 1,750 hours of OJT
  • 160 hours of classroom

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings:

  • $55,770-$77,335 + benefits*

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings:

  • $66,500-$89,000 + benefits*

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

Average earnings:

  • $90,000-$120,200 + benefits*

*Wages vary by area. Contact the local training center for detailed wage estimate.

It Doesn’t Stop at Journeyworker

After successfully completing your apprenticeship and becoming a journeyworker, there’s still opportunity to further advance your career. You may oversee a crew on a job site as a leadperson, or become a foreman or project superintendent. You may even go on to start your own company! Whatever your goals, Carpenters Training Institute will work with you to achieve them.

Continuing Education Courses

    • Rough Terrain and Industrial Forklift
    • Math for the Trades
    • Hytorc Bolting Technician Qualification
    • OSHA
    • Rigging
    • And many more!

I became a piledriver because the benefits are very valuable for myself and my family. I thoroughly enjoy being a piledriver because I’m part of a huge brotherhood and sisterhood. It’s also a fun career because you’re always learning something new.

– John Glime, pile driver apprentice

Get a Head Start on Your Degree

Completing the pile driver apprenticeship program at Carpenters Training Institute satisfies a portion of the credit requirements for a two-year associate degree at several technical and community colleges in the Midwest.