How Do I Become a Piping Designer?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2018
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Pipings designers plan piping systems used for plumbing, industrial applications, and oil pipelines. These professionals not only determine the most effective layout for the pipes and related equipment, but also calculate pipe sizes, materials, and connections. The job of piping designer requires a great deal of knowledge and experience related to plumbing, fluid dynamics, and engineering. If you want to become a piping designer, you'll need to pursue a training program designed to prepare students for this type of work. It's also important to master the software used in this trade, particularly computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs.

Those looking to become a piping designer can begin by attending a training program in engineering, construction, or drafting. Depending on your particular career goals, you can pursue an undergraduate degree in engineering, or a shorter program in engineering technology, drafting, or piping design. While not all piping designer jobs require a professional engineer (PE) license, you'll need at least a four-year degree to qualify for the PE exam.

To become a piping designer, it's helpful to gain experience in the plumbing or construction field. Candidates can learn valuable skills working as plumbers, sprinkler installers, or construction managers. This type of work experience also exposes employees to building codes and industry standards that affect the field of pipe design. These jobs also help candidates gain an understanding of blueprint reading, and how these plans translate into real-world design.


Computers and software play a major role in helping one become a piping designer. These professionals should familiarize themselves with basic computer programs, including email and word processing programs. A mastery of CAD software and 3D modeling programs can also help candidates improve job prospects in piping design. This may require additional coursework in drafting or CAD. Improving your manual drawing and sketching ability can also help you find a job.

Once you've completed some form of training program and gained some experience, it's time to apply for piping designer jobs. These jobs can be found at construction firms, particularly those that focus on plumbing, mechanical, and sprinkler work. The green energy and waste water treatment fields also provide numerous opportunities for piping designers. You can also become a piping designer by looking for jobs in the petroleum and natural gas industries, or even in manufacturing, where piping systems are used to transport materials ranging from chemicals to food. Large companies and government agencies may also hire piping designers to plan both new systems and modifications to existing piping.


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