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Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering
3

Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

(OP)
Hello there,

I have four years experience in the field as an industrial machinery engineer. I plan to shift career and venture in the oil and gas sector. I am currently choosing in between Stationary Equipment engineering (mostly on pressure vessels, heat exchangers, columns, reactors, etc.) and Piping Engineering (to which I plan to be a Piping Stress Engineer to be specific).

My question is that, which of the two specific discipline will most probably make a good career (in terms of the demand, prospect, fulfillment of the job, etc.).

P.S. This is my first time to post here at Eng-Tips; I am humbly asking for sincere answers from my fellow Professionals. Thank you so much!

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

Good question. I've done both (i.e. pipe stress and PV design), but not full-time. I'd say it all depends on your personal preference. There are a lot of parallels, and I think it is not uncommon that the more experienced pipe stress engineers can or ultimately will also do pressure vessel design. It's a matter of understanding the Code (rules), not knowing them from start to finish from the top of your head - that's why we have the Code books.

Huub
- You never get what you expect, you only get what you inspect.

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

They seem to be similar to me.

I get maligned here when I say that a PV is nothing more than a big pipe wink but there are a lot of similar items.

Not all projects have big bits of kit, but they all have pipes, so there will be more work available in piping, but then it won't take as much time.

Whatever floats your boat really. I wouldn't like either, but then that's why I'm a pipeline engineer.

The only caution I would say is that whatever YOU may like doing, you need to demonstrate, after 4 years experience, that you can actually DO the job you want. Employers tend to want to buy experience, not a desire to learn on their payroll...

So you will need to look closely at what you've done as a "industrial machinery engineer" - Can you expand on that a bit? - to make someone choose you as opposed to someone else. Or you may find you need to self fund a training course in something like PV Elite for pressure vessels or Caesar II or similar for piping stress design.

As it stands I would have thought you could possibly get a role as a rotating equipment engineer, but then I don't know what classifies as "Industrial equipment".

Why do you want to shift careers? You will get asked so best to have a good answer practiced.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

I have always workded for design engineering companies (40 years) that combined both in that all mechanical engineers did the entire design including piping and equipement design, including system design and developement of P&ID, selection and sizing of equipment, all related equipment calculations such as pump hydraulics etc, stress analyis and other piping related calcs, preparation of all project equipment and piping procurement and construction specifications and work with drafting producing detail drawings for construction.

I would not have liked to do just one aspect. There are companies though that make you specialize either in equipment expertise or piping/stress analysis expertiss. These are usually the very large design firms such as Jacobs for example. I worked for privately owned mid-sized design firms of around 500 +/- in oil and gas, petrochemical and refining in New Orleans.

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

(OP)
Thank you for having the response to my thread.

XL83NL - I also thought of the same thing that the two disciplines have similarities in them. On my first year of work, I actually have design experience on boilers and pressure vessels, which I have learned things in a matter of a year. They say that it will take years to fully master a code by application on real life situations. Too bad, I have to take another job (my current one) due to financial considerations at that time.



LittleInch - Agreed with the similarities, as said by XL83NL.
Yes, I actually applied on an EPC oil and gas company, for a position which is relatively skilled and I am overoptimistic about my abilities, only to learn my shortcomings during the interview. You are indeed right, companies tend to hire those who have WORKING EXPERIENCE, not somebody who is eager to learn (or at least, have the potential to perform well).

In my country, we only have limited numbers of oil and gas companies, and they are big companies, so, they tend to hire those who are really experienced. I am thinking if I can enter the oil and gas sector as the competition is cutthroat and lucky who have started as cadets/juniors in those companies (which have very limited hiring).

I have the fundamental skills needed, but it seems that years of related experience is what really mattered.

If you may ask, I am choosing between this two as they seem the best fit for me (by aptitude and liking).
In my country, piping engineering jobs are more likely to be posted than the stationary equipment engineering. But then, I also noticed that when companies do post openings about stationary equipment engineer job, they tend to hire for longer periods of time. Perhaps, there is relatively small population of these guys specializing.

And, it is correct, that there is always piping in every plant, so I am also considering piping.

About the industrial machinery, I'm in installation-operation job basis. The machines are mixers, blast freezers, smokehouses, etc. More on food manufacturing equipment. It is fun, as I have to work with diverse kinds of people, but not fulfilling, as I only gain shallow knowledge of everything I need.

I want to change career as I see myself unfit with my current environment, and I am fed up of people who blatantly ignore my skills, saying they have years of experience, that my attention to detail is very annoying and not necessary (which is necessary in my comprehensive researches), and later on to be blamed only when thing happens because I am the one in charge. This happens, but I am really done.

Going back, I want to surround people who share the same attitude towards work, and within the range of skillset as I perform well when I play with a team.

Of course, I cannot say my pain during the interviews, and I the only thing I can show is my eagerness to work.

About trainings, it may, or it may not contribute to my resume to "smell good", as I do not come from a directly related field. Besides, trainings are terribly high, in the context of my country, as I have to save for at least 3 years just to attend a proper ASME training online. It may be worth the try, but then, years in waiting for the training might just be lost time for me.



Snickster - On my first job, this is really the case, as they tend to maximize the use of human resources. I have learned a lot but also, terribly tired like I have to work from 8am to 10pm daily, from Monday to Saturday with small amount of pay, and very toxic workplace because of nepotism. It's a shame that place is still like that in these modern days.

But yes, I have to experience to work with widely varied kinds of work, designing from fuel storage, to steam generation, to distribution.

Here in my country we have Jacobs and Wood, but applicants are considered cream of the crop, as almost all of them came from JGC or Fluor.



I really want to work in oil and gas engineering, choosing just between this two specializations, and I am really torn which will I develop credentials, as it costs a lot for me.

(Sorry if this bothers you, but I came from a relatively poor country, and I don't have much choice in life. I am struggling, but I continue to press forward for life is worth living and doing the things you really love, and good at).

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

Skyspectre:
I’d take whichever field or position (equipment or piping) which had an opening and offer of a job without too much loss in pay. It seems you are kinda interested in both, and they are fairly similar, but you have little explicit/real experience in either. And, what you really need is some of that real experience, then it may be easier to move btwn. the two. It might help you CV if you could show that you are already learning and studying one or the other, or both, on your own. That means studying some good textbooks and the codes on the two subjects. Try to find a good, experienced mentor who might help you with your learning and questions, and might also have some contacts in the two fields.

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

Also, join a (or multiple) ASME code committees. Either B31.3 or BPVC VIII1. Since I joined a B31.3 International Review Group, I’ve learned quite a few things aside that you won’t get to know from most books. Really worth the effort.

Huub
- You never get what you expect, you only get what you inspect.

RE: Mechanical Equipment or Piping Engineering

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