What does a Research and Development Engineer do?

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

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A research and development engineer is responsible for the conceptual design, development, and testing of new products and technologies. They work closely with other engineers, scientists, and marketing personnel to ensure that the products they develop meet the needs of the customer. In addition to their engineering duties, research and development engineers often participate in the commercialization of new products by writing patents and marketing materials.

Research and Development Engineer job duties include:

  • Research and develop new engineering designs for products or systems.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of new engineering designs.
  • Prepare engineering specifications and plans for new products or systems.
  • Coordinate and oversee the work of drafters, technicians, and other engineers working on a project.
  • Monitor the performance of new products or systems to ensure they meet design standards and customer expectations.
  • Investigate customer complaints about product performance and make recommendations for improvements.
  • Keep abreast of new developments in engineering technology and design methods.
  • Attend trade shows and conferences to learn about new products and trends in the engineering field.
  • Meet with sales staff, marketing personnel, and customers to discuss their needs and requirements for new products or systems.

Research and Development Engineer Job Requirements

A Research and Development Engineer typically has a Bachelor's degree in engineering, although a Master's degree may be preferred by some employers. In addition to formal education, experience in the field is also important. Many Research and Development Engineers have several years of experience working in an engineering role before moving into a research and development position. Certification as a professional engineer (PE) is not required, but may be helpful in obtaining a job.

Research and Development Engineer Skills

  • Analytical
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Computer skills

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How to become a Research and Development Engineer

A research and development engineer is responsible for the design, development, and testing of new products and technologies. They work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and medical device. To become a research and development engineer, you will need to have a strong background in engineering principles and a desire to innovate.

The first step to becoming a research and development engineer is to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited institution. During your studies, you will take courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science, as well as engineering principles and design. You should also consider pursuing a master’s degree or PhD in engineering to further your knowledge and expertise.

Once you have completed your education, you will need to gain experience in the field of product development. This can be done through internships or entry-level positions at engineering firms. Working in research and development will allow you to apply your knowledge to real-world problems and develop new solutions.

As you gain experience, you may want to specialize in a particular area of research and development. There are many different areas of focus within this field, such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or software engineering. By specializing in one area, you can become an expert in that field and contribute to the advancement of new technologies.

To be successful as a research and development engineer, you must be creative, innovative, and able to think outside the box. You must also be able to work independently and as part of a team. If you have these qualities and are passionate about engineering, then a career in research and development may be the perfect fit for you!

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