Piping Engineering Degree Programs

In a piping engineering degree program, you'll learn how to design and install piping systems and how to use computer-aided drafting (CAD) software. Read on to learn about available programs in this field, classes to expect, online availability, and potential careers. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Piping Engineering Degree Programs Are Available?

You can earn a piping engineering associate's degree through several community and technical colleges, often offered as an Associate of Applied Science. Depending on the school, programs might be referred to as process piping design or industrial design technology with a specialization in pipe design. Associate's degree programs take about two years of full time study to complete.

Upon completion of the program, you'll be prepared for entry-level employment as a drafter or pipe designer. Some schools allow you to transfer your credits into a 4-year bachelor's degree program in architecture, engineering or applied mathematics.

Program Fields Piping engineering, architecture, engineering or applied mathematics
Common Courses Technical drafting, computer-aided drafting, instrumentation drafting, piping drafting
Online Availability Associate degrees in drafting are typically available in a hybrid format
Possible Careers Pipe designer, drafter, architect or engineer (with further training)
Pipe Designer vs. Pipefitter Pipefitters are actual installers, while designers do the drafting of the overall piping infrastructure

What Kind of Courses Could I Take?

The bulk of a piping design program is made up of courses in drafting. You'll take technical drafting, computer-aided drafting, instrumentation drafting and piping drafting courses. You'll also learn how to take measurements, prepare sketches and select materials. Community colleges often require more broad-based general education and theoretical courses than do technical schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that community college programs could better prepare you for transfer into a 4-year university, while technical school programs generally prepare you for entry-level employment (www.bls.gov).

Can I Learn Online?

A few colleges and universities offer online and hybrid associate degree programs in drafting that can provide you with fundamental knowledge of computer applications and design techniques. You could access drafting software over the Internet or view examples of tools used in the applications, though you might need to install software, such as AutoCAD, on your personal computer. In some cases, you might need to take the courses that use drafting software at the campus. Many online programs offer general CAD instruction without specifying piping design, though you might find electives specific to the field.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

With a piping design degree, you can work for oil companies, chemical plants and other construction sites where piping systems are necessary. As an entry-level drafter, you'll work mostly in an office under the supervision of a more experienced piping designer. You could be required to assess on-site projects and assist with installation. With experience and continuing education, you can advance to a senior-level drafter or go on to become an architect or engineer.

What's the Difference Between Piping Design and Pipefitting?

As a piping designer or engineer, you'll prepare the blueprints that pipefitters use to install the pipe systems at the building site. Pipefitters do the actual installation and repair of a variety of pipe systems. Both professions usually receive training through apprenticeship programs in conjunction with community college or technical school programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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