A plumbing engineer is very different from a plumber. While a plumber may handle the intricacies of a toilet or a drain within the home, a plumbing engineer focuses on the larger piping system and its design.
Plumbing engineers typically work with the overall piping system that controls either fluids or gasses. Oftentimes, they work in commercial spaces that have water or heating equipment that requires a water source or drain. Like other engineering disciplines, a career as a plumbing engineer can be a challenging but rewarding path. Let's take a closer look at what is required to become a plumbing engineer.
What to Expect in College
There is not a specific degree in plumbing engineering; however, almost all plumbing engineers have a four year Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. While taking the required mechanical engineering classes, it is a good idea to focus extra coursework around fluid dynamics and new energy technologies.
Plumbing engineers are also regularly required to think outside of the box especially when it comes to sustainable engineering initiatives. Courses or projects that analyze fluid systems or solve hydraulic problems will be especially helpful. Just like with other engineering disciplines, you should expect a heavy emphasis on mathematics and problem solving skills, both in the classroom and in the field.
Required Skills for a Plumbing Engineer
To be a successful plumbing engineer, you must be able to quickly and accurately come up with solutions to ever-changing problems. More often than not, a plumbing engineer is working outside at a construction site for the customer. A good understanding of local and federal construction codes and requirements will help immensely with a future in plumbing engineering. Further, a good plumbing engineer should be able to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas with a team of engineers as well as the client.
A Plumbing Engineer’s Career Path
Like many other engineering career paths, having a summer internship is a great way to build work experience in the field of plumbing engineering. When applying for internships or first time jobs following graduation, be sure to highlight any work or courses in fluid dynamics.
Another great way to start a career in plumbing engineering is to join the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Here, prospective new graduates will be able to network with career professionals and learn more about what a career in plumbing engineering may look like. Additionally, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers offers yearly conferences and certificates in plumbing engineering that can help accelerate your career.
One of our engineering specialties at Gausman & Moore is plumbing engineering. We are always looking for new interns or recent college graduates to help strengthen our team. If you may be interested in learning more about plumbing engineering or growing your career, contact us today!