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Become A Design Engineer

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Working As A 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

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Design Engineer Career Paths

Design Engineer
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Civil Engineer Environmental Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Senior Technologist Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Unit Manager Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Design Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Design Engineer
Designer 9.2%
Engineer 8.8%
Internship 6.8%
Draftsman 2.6%
Top Careers After Design Engineer
Engineer 7.7%
Designer 4.0%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Design Engineer?

Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.1%

Female

11.1%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

55.5%

Asian

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.8%

Chinese

8.8%

French

8.6%

German

7.5%

Mandarin

5.9%

Carrier

5.7%

Japanese

4.7%

Arabic

4.4%

Russian

4.1%

Italian

2.9%

Hindi

2.7%

Portuguese

1.9%

Cantonese

1.6%

Polish

1.5%

Korean

1.1%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Turkish

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Gujarati

0.6%
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Design Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.9%

Texas A&M University

7.0%

Arizona State University

6.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.9%

University of Houston

5.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.6%

Iowa State University

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.4%

Michigan Technological University

4.4%

Wichita State University

4.3%

Wayne State University

4.2%

Ohio State University

4.2%

University of Cincinnati

4.1%

North Carolina State University

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

University of Florida

3.8%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

34.8%

Electrical Engineering

15.0%

Civil Engineering

7.6%

Business

6.5%

Drafting And Design

5.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

4.0%

Engineering

3.8%

Computer Engineering

2.6%

Aerospace Engineering

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Computer Science

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Industrial Engineering

1.6%

Engineering Technology

1.4%

Project Management

1.3%

Chemical Engineering

1.1%

Biomedical Engineering

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.7%

Masters

27.9%

Other

11.2%

Associate

7.2%

Doctorate

2.9%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does a Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Design Engineer in the United States is $76,096 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $57,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $99,000.

Real Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Kiewit Engineering & Design CO. Kiewit Engineering & Design Co. Lenexa, KS Jun 29, 2015 $210,000
Dmts-Em Design Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Folsom, CA May 27, 2016 $195,000
MTS 2, Design Engineer Paypal, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 30, 2015 $185,000
Physical Design Engineer Smartplay, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 26, 2015 $170,000
Physical Design Engineer-Director Sicontech, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 15, 2016 $170,000
Physical Design Engineer Smartplay, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 26, 2015 $170,000
Engineer, Infrastructure/Performance and Design KCG Americas LLC Chicago, IL Apr 09, 2016 $165,000
User Experience Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 07, 2016 $161,824 -
$191,000
Smts Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 26, 2016 $155,106 -
$229,500
Physical Design Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 18, 2016 $155,106 -
$200,200
MTS Design Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) Sunnyvale, CA Oct 25, 2016 $152,131 -
$191,800
Industrial Design Engineer Hewlett-Packard Company Houston, TX Jul 17, 2015 $88,222 -
$130,000
Design Engineer International Rectifier Corporation El Segundo, CA Feb 24, 2016 $88,200
Design Engineer QNAP Inc. Pomona, CA Mar 06, 2016 $88,200
Design Engineer Arm, Inc. Austin, TX Jun 19, 2015 $88,150
Industrial Design Engineer Hewlett-Packard Company Houston, TX Sep 26, 2015 $88,006 -
$136,503
Graduate Design Engineer Arm, Inc. Austin, TX Jul 28, 2016 $88,000
Design Engineer Ecomotors, Inc. Allen Park, MI Feb 11, 2015 $88,000
Design Engineer Standex International Corporation New Albany, MS Mar 28, 2016 $88,000
Design Engineer Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC American Fork, UT Oct 21, 2015 $71,261 -
$80,000
Design Engineer On Semiconductor Lindon, UT Sep 03, 2015 $71,261 -
$90,000
Design Engineer (Mechanical) Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Bakersfield, CA Oct 01, 2015 $71,240
Design Assurance Engineer St. Jude Medical, Implantable Electronic Systems Division Selma, CA Aug 20, 2015 $71,200
Design Engineer Igate Technologies Inc. Framingham, MA Aug 04, 2015 $71,200
Design Engineer Igate Technologies Inc. Framingham, MA Jul 30, 2015 $71,200
Design Engineer 2 Capgemini America Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 18, 2016 $71,200

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Top Skills for A Design Engineer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. CAD
  3. New Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed Quality assurance within the engineering department by inspecting construction packages for engineering accuracy and cost effectiveness.
  • Design graphic proposals and engineer internal drawings including final materials, fabrication/mounting steps, and UL-approved lighting using AutoCAD.
  • Partnered with manufacturing to establish design standards for engineering to use in new product development.
  • Collaborated with Test, Structures, and Manufacturing Teams to develop requirements, initial layout, and instrumentation of Test Specimen.
  • Maintained drawings and solid models as required by medical device regulations.

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Top 10 Best States for Design Engineers

  1. California
  2. New Mexico
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Alaska
  9. Delaware
  10. Virginia
  • (7,768 jobs)
  • (286 jobs)
  • (352 jobs)
  • (1,886 jobs)
  • (636 jobs)
  • (3,566 jobs)
  • (320 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)
  • (1,961 jobs)

Top Design Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Design Engineer Employers

Design Engineer Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Mechanical Engineer by Nicola S (Full Version)

A Day in the Life of an Engineer (Real Footage, Not Propaganda)

Mechanical Design Engineer - CAREER PROFILE

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