How to Become a Piping Designer?

Piping Designer is responsible for the basic design of overall pipe routing, plant layout, Overall plot plan, Unit Plot Plan, equipment layout, nozzle orientation, isometric generation, Piping MTO, developing 3D CAD models, and 2D drafting/extraction for any plant. They draft the drawings for piping and plumbing systems. For every chemical, petrochemical, power, refinery, food, and Oil & Gas industries piping designers serve an extremely important work role.

Who is a Piping Designer?

A piping designer is an engineering professional who utilizes computer-aided design and drafting systems to build and generate isometrics, plot plans, general arrangements, and various other drawings for construction professionals to erect the plant at the site. Piping designers are also known as drafters, draftsmen, CAD technicians, etc.

As per the Process piping Bible, ASME B31.3, a designer is a person in responsible charge of the engineering design. He assures the owner that the engineering design of piping complies with the requirements of the relevant Code (B31.3) along with any additional requirements established by the owner.

How to become a Piping Designer?

The steps for becoming a piping designer are listed below:

  • Step 1: Obtain a High School Education/ITI Certificate
  • Step 2: Obtain a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • Step 3: Plant Design and Piping Engineering Course (Online or from any institute)
  • Step 4: Learn the following software:
    • AutoCAD for a 2D piping designer or Piping drafter
    • Any of PDMS, E3D, Revit, or SP3D for 3D piping designer
  • Step 5: Acquire Industry Experience: Gain a working experience by working on live projects utilizing the software you learned from training institutes.

Once you get sufficient experience by working on live projects you will be able to grow your career to the next level as Senior Piping Designer, Lead Piping Designer, Principal piping designer, and so on. After an experience of at least 10 years, you will be considered as a proper piping designer and can move on your career ladder to become a senior piping designer.

The process piping code ASME B31.3 has some stringent requirements for designers. As per that Code, depending on the system criticality and complexity of the job, the owner’s approval for piping designers will be required if he does not meet any one of the following four criteria:

  1. Completion of a degree, accredited by an independent agency, in engineering, science, or technology, requiring the equivalent of at least 4 years of full-time study that provides exposure to a fundamental subject matter relevant to the design of piping systems, plus a minimum of 5 years of experience in the design of related pressure piping.
  2. Professional Engineering registration, recognized by the local jurisdiction, and experience in the design of related pressure piping.
  3. Completion of an accredited engineering technician or associate’s degree, requiring the equivalent of at least 2 years of study, plus a minimum of 10 years of experience in the design of related pressure piping.
  4. Fifteen years of experience in the design of related pressure piping.

Piping Designer Jobs

An experienced piping designer is an asset for many organizations. Wherever there are piping systems to transfer or transport fluids (liquids or gases) from one place to another, piping designers are required. So, piping designers are always required for the following industries:

  • Oil & Gas (Both Offshore and Onshore)
  • Chemical
  • Petrochemical
  • Mineral
  • Food Processing
  • Steel
  • Power Generation
  • Solar Plants
  • Refinery
  • Water Sector (Water treatment plant, Sewage treatment plant, Water Desalination plant, etc)
  • Marine
  • Shipyards

Piping Designer Salary

The salary of entry-level piping designers is quite less. In India, the average salary of entry-level piping designers is in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 INR per month. However, once they gain experience and achieve the required experience their salary increases. In the mid-range (10+ years of experience), a piping designer earns in the range 60,000-70,000 per month.

However, the salary varies from region to region. A large number of piping designers are required in the Gulf region, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Norway, Europe, and the USA. In these countries, the piping designers earn handsome money. In the USA, the average salary of a piping designer annually is $50,000.

Piping Design Courses

Various institutes provide online and in-person piping designer courses to help candidates learn the piping design software packages and the basics of piping design. In general, the aspirant planning to become a piping designer should learn the following basics from a piping design course:

  • Piping Codes and Standards
  • Pipe and Fittings
  • Pipe Size and Thickness
  • Small-bore and Large-bore Pipes
  • Piping Components like flanges, valves, strainers, inline components, etc.
  • Certain basic pipe routing rules.
  • Equipment Placement Rules.
  • Pipe Supporting basic guidelines.
  • Pipe design deliverables.
  • Piping designer workflow.
  • Familiarization of Drawing Symbols and Studying P&ID
  • Operating piping design CAD tools.
  • Documentation and reporting.
  • Piping Material Specification

Piping Designer Skills

The important skills that a piping designer required are:

  • CAD software knowledge (Both 2D and 3D)
  • Reading and Understanding drawings
  • Analytical skills
  • Planning skills
  • Imagination skills
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

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