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Become A Chief Design Engineer

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Working As A Chief Design Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Design Engineer Do

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Duties

Mechanical engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Mechanical engineers design and oversee the manufacture of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries.

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations.

Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Mechanical engineers are routinely responsible for the integration of sensors, controllers, and machinery. Computer technology helps mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, interact with connected systems, and generate specifications for parts.

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How To Become A Chief Design Engineer

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists. They must listen to and analyze different approaches made by other experts to complete the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific discoveries and use them to design and build useful products.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mechanical engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education to renew their licenses every year. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Several professional organizations offer a variety of certification programs for engineers to demonstrate competency in specific fields of mechanical engineering.

Advancement

A Ph.D. is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs. Mechanical engineers may earn graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance their project management skills. Mechanical engineers may become administrators or managers after obtaining the requisite experience.

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Average Length of Employment
Chief Engineer 5.4 years
Design Supervisor 5.0 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Chief Design Engineer
Engineer 4.6%
Designer 2.3%
Top Careers After Chief Design Engineer
Owner 3.9%
Manager 3.9%
Engineer 3.4%
Consultant 3.4%

Do you work as a Chief Design Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$63,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$135,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
InvenSense
Highest Paying City
Windsor Locks, CT
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does a Chief Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chief Design Engineer in the United States is $93,123 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $135,000.

Real Chief Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Engineering Designer Itoki Design Corporation New York, NY Feb 11, 2011 $210,000
Assistant Chief Interior Trim Design Engineer Ts Tech Americas, Inc. Reynoldsburg, OH Sep 12, 2015 $91,187
Assistant Chief Design Analysis Engineer Ts Tech Americas, Inc. Reynoldsburg, OH Jul 02, 2015 $90,813
Assistant Chief Design Analysis Engineer Ts Tech Americas, Inc. Reynoldsburg, OH Nov 21, 2014 $90,813 -
$95,000
Chief Design Engineer TDK USA Corporation Cypress, CA Feb 18, 2013 $78,923
Chief Design Engineer Bainbridge Manufacturing, LLC Bainbridge, GA Sep 18, 2014 $78,000
Chief Design Engineer Teton Truss Operations, Inc. Etna, WY Aug 24, 2013 $72,199
Chief Design Engineer Teton Truss Operations, Inc. Etna, WY Oct 01, 2010 $72,176
Chief Design Engineer Helix Wind, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 03, 2010 $72,000
Assistant Chief Seat Design Engineer Ts Tech Americas, Inc. Reynoldsburg, OH Aug 08, 2016 $69,701 -
$85,000
Chief Design Engineer TDK USA Corporation Cypress, CA Feb 18, 2012 $65,416
Chief Design Engineer TDK USA Corporation Cypress, CA Feb 18, 2011 $63,627

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Top Skills for A Chief Design Engineer

  1. Product Design
  2. Engineering Department
  3. Cad-Cam
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Lead product design and development, creating marine engine products for $20M manufacturing operation.
  • Implemented CAD and CAD-CAM for Engineering/Design and Die Manufacturing.
  • Advanced training in the use of SolidWorks BOM creation & linking of programs.
  • Project Management & extensive experience in start-up operations from design/construction/project management/installation to final staffing and operations.
  • Perform preliminary design calculations for custom fall protection anchor assembly, and preparation of shop drawings using AutoCAD.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Chief Design Engineers

  1. New Mexico
  2. Texas
  3. Colorado
  4. California
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Washington
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Delaware
  9. Alabama
  10. Virginia
  • (56 jobs)
  • (839 jobs)
  • (266 jobs)
  • (2,123 jobs)
  • (393 jobs)
  • (346 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (303 jobs)

Chief Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

89.0%

Unknown

7.5%

Female

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Asian

12.9%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

14.3%

Chinese

9.5%

German

9.5%

French

9.5%

Spanish

9.5%

Russian

9.5%

Korean

9.5%

Vietnamese

4.8%

Greek

4.8%

Hebrew

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Italian

4.8%
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Chief Design Engineer Education

Schools

University of Florida

7.8%

Northeastern University

7.8%

Purdue University

7.8%

University of Kentucky

5.9%

Youngstown State University

5.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.9%

University of Cincinnati

5.9%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.9%

University of California - San Diego

3.9%

Mount Wachusett Community College

3.9%

Georgetown University

3.9%

Providence College

3.9%

Lehigh University

3.9%

University of Bridgeport

3.9%

National Technological University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

West Virginia University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

University of Oklahoma

3.9%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

27.2%

Electrical Engineering

15.8%

Business

9.8%

Civil Engineering

9.2%

Engineering

6.0%

Aerospace Engineering

4.9%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Industrial Technology

3.3%

Management

2.7%

Computer Science

2.2%

Project Management

1.6%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Physics

1.6%

Computer Engineering

1.6%

Graphic Design

1.6%

Chemical Engineering

1.6%

Marine Engineering

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Systems Engineering

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.0%

Masters

30.1%

Other

13.5%

Associate

6.6%

Doctorate

3.5%

Certificate

0.9%

Diploma

0.4%
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