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What does a Design Engineer do?

Learn all about Design Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Design Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

Design engineers are responsible for creating and developing new products as well as improving existing products. They work closely with other engineers, marketing staff, and production staff to ensure that the products they design can be manufactured and meet the needs of customers.

Design Engineer job duties include:

  • Design engineering is the process of designing and developing products, machines, systems or structures.
  • Design engineers may work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, chemical, computer hardware, electronics, food processing, medical devices and software engineering.
  • They use mathematical and scientific principles to solve problems and create designs that meet specified requirements.
  • Design engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

1. Identify customer needs and develop design specifications.

2. Research and select appropriate materials and components.

3. Develop prototypes and test products to verify design feasibility.

4. Evaluate product performance and make necessary modifications.

5. Prepare detailed engineering drawings and specifications.

6. Coordinate with other engineers, technicians and production staff during the design and development process.

7. Monitor production to ensure compliance with design standards.

8. Provide technical support during the product life cycle.

9. Investigate product failures and recommend improvements.

Design Engineer Job Requirements

A design engineer is responsible for creating and developing new designs for products, machines, and systems. They work closely with other engineers and technicians to create prototypes and test new designs. A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for this position, as well as experience in designing and developing products. Certification from a professional engineering organization is also beneficial.

Design Engineer Skills

  • 2D
  • 3D
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • AutoCAD
  • CATIA
  • Creo
  • Dimensioning
  • GD&T
  • Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
  • Inventor
  • Modeling
  • NX

Related: Top Design Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Design Engineer

Design engineers are responsible for the development and creation of new products. They work closely with other engineers, scientists, and marketing professionals to bring new ideas to life. The job of a design engineer is both creative and technical. To become a design engineer, you will need to have strong problem-solving skills and be able to think outside the box. You will also need to be proficient in computer-aided design (CAD) software.

If you’re interested in becoming a design engineer, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited school. During your studies, you will take classes in physics, mathematics, and computer science. You will also likely participate in internships or co-ops to gain real-world experience. Once you have earned your degree, you will need to pass the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam before you can become a licensed professional engineer (PE).

After passing the EIT exam, you can begin working as a design engineer. Many designers start their careers working for large companies. However, some eventually open their own engineering firms. As you gain experience, you may want to specialize in a particular type of engineering, such as mechanical or electrical engineering. No matter what path you take, continuing your education by taking courses and attending conferences is important to keeping your skills up-to-date.

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