Although there are several education routes that you can take to become a plumbing designer, most companies may prefer that you have a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in architecture, engineering, or a related field. Depending on your career choice, you may want to consider working on a master's degree in a similar field after successful completion of your undergraduate studies in order to increase your employment opportunities. This is a highly technical field and you will typically need to have a special interest in various sciences. Before choosing this career, you may want to research various job descriptions to familiarize yourself with the experience requirements needed to become a plumbing designer.
Many universities offer courses in plumbing design and before choosing a program you should make sure that the curriculum correlates with your future profession. A college adviser will usually help you map out your four years of coursework and the first year of college is generally based on prerequisites needed to enroll in advanced courses within your major. After successful completion of the necessary prerequisites, you may want to enroll in plumbing design courses including plumbing layout, basic plumbing principles and practices, and plumbing design and drafting.
During your undergraduate studies, you should apply and participate in internships in your field. Some internships may be classified under mechanical engineering, which usually involves the designing and production of various mechanical systems including plumbing systems. The purpose of internships is to familiarize you with the industry and give you introductory hands-on training. These are excellent experience opportunities and many employers will be interested in your success as an apprentice in the field. Some students participate in several different internships throughout their four years of college and an increased amount of experience will help you to become a plumbing designer.
If you choose to continue your education in graduate school, you should continue to work in the field to prepare you for your post-graduate career. There are additional skills that you will need to become a plumbing designer including creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and originality. Working well with a team will also help you succeed in this field because drafting, designing, and constructing plumbing systems usually involves working on a team with other professionals. Advanced designing and building skills are essential to become a plumbing designer but you will also need to have business management knowledge and customer service skills in order to advance in this career.