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Become A Lead Design Engineer

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Working As A Lead 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

  • $101,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead 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 Lead 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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Lead Design Engineer Career Paths

Lead Design Engineer
Project Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer Engineering Group Leader Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer Team Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Supervisor Senior Process Engineer Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Lead Design Engineer
Engineer 5.8%
Designer 5.0%
Internship 2.9%
Top Careers After Lead Design Engineer
Engineer 4.2%
Consultant 3.9%

Do you work as a Lead Design Engineer?

Lead Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.9%

Unknown

10.3%

Female

8.8%
Ethnicity

White

56.9%

Asian

15.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.3%

Carrier

10.7%

French

8.0%

Chinese

5.3%

German

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Russian

5.3%

Mandarin

4.0%

Portuguese

2.7%

Korean

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Bulgarian

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Kannada

1.3%

Hmong

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Shan

1.3%

Italian

1.3%
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Lead Design Engineer Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

8.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.8%

University of Phoenix

7.4%

Purdue University

7.0%

University of Illinois University Administration

6.3%

Arizona State University

5.2%

University of Southern California

5.2%

Wayne State University

4.8%

University of Washington

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

Bradley University

4.4%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.1%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.7%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.7%

University of Central Florida

3.7%

University of Houston

3.7%

More Tech Institute

3.7%

Washington State University

3.7%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

34.3%

Electrical Engineering

17.0%

Business

9.0%

Drafting And Design

5.0%

Engineering

4.3%

Civil Engineering

3.8%

Aerospace Engineering

3.1%

Computer Science

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Industrial Technology

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Finance

1.5%

Project Management

1.3%

Industrial Engineering

1.2%

Chemical Engineering

1.2%

Engineering Technology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.6%

Masters

30.0%

Other

11.8%

Associate

5.8%

Certificate

2.3%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$101,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$77,000
Min 10%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$131,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Apple
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Lead Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Design Engineer in the United States is $101,253 per year or $49 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $77,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $131,000.

Real Lead Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Lead Physical Design Engineer Cavium, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 22, 2016 $155,106 -
$170,106
Lead Design for Testability Engineer Aricent N.A.Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 23, 2016 $152,131
Lead Design Engineer Mindlance, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 28, 2016 $140,000
Lead Design Engineer Technicon Design Corporation Parksdale, CA Sep 08, 2015 $139,875
Managed Memory Design Engineer Lead Micron Technology, Inc. Boise, ID Aug 29, 2016 $136,094
Lead Design Engineer Datera, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 21, 2015 $135,000
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 29, 2016 $135,000 -
$152,131
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 22, 2016 $133,510 -
$141,700
Lead Physical Design Engineer Cyient, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 06, 2016 $131,300
Lead Physical Design Engineer Cyient, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 07, 2015 $131,300
Lead Physical Design Engineer Cavium, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 03, 2015 $130,562 -
$140,965
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 16, 2016 $128,920 -
$143,720
Lead Design Engineer (MCU and Wireless) Silicon Laboratories Inc. Austin, TX Jul 10, 2016 $128,270 -
$143,063
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 16, 2016 $119,060 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 15, 2016 $119,060 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 14, 2016 $119,060 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 11, 2016 $118,741 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 01, 2016 $118,741 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 30, 2015 $118,728 -
$138,728
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 20, 2016 $118,135 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 30, 2015 $116,145 -
$141,700
Lead Design Engineer Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc. Northville, MI Jan 05, 2016 $105,000
I&E Lead Design Engineer Chevron Corporation Richmond, CA Aug 13, 2015 $105,000
Lead Design Engineer Intersil Communications LLC, An Intersil Corporation Company Austin, TX Jun 20, 2015 $103,126
Lead Design Engineer Cadence Design Systems, Inc. Columbia, MD Jun 01, 2015 $101,707 -
$122,850
Lead Project & Design Engineer Phoenix Solar, Inc. San Ramon, CA Oct 24, 2016 $100,000
Lead Project and Design Engineer Phoenix Solar Inc. San Ramon, CA Nov 01, 2016 $100,000
Design Engineer-Research & Design Engineer Lead Belcan Engineering Group, Inc. Peoria, IL Mar 23, 2016 $99,029
Design Engineer-Research & Design Engineer Lead Belcan Engineering Group, Inc. Peoria, IL Sep 16, 2015 $99,029

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Top Skills for A Lead 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:
  • Lead Reliability Engineer - Design Engineering Department Total responsibility for reliability aspects of various fluid systems of all military aircraft engines.
  • Utilize AutoCAD 2011 to design plans, elevations and details for walk-in coolers and freezers to meet customer's specifications.
  • Developed Technical Requirement Specifications for new product development & Testing.
  • Lead design engineer over staff of eight designers throughout the project, from conceptual design through final installation.
  • Performed Kinematic functionality in CATIA to prove design functionality for mass production implementation.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Design Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. New Mexico
  4. Delaware
  5. Alaska
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Arizona
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Maryland
  10. Virginia
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  • (144 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
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  • (1,453 jobs)

Top Lead Design Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Lead Design Engineer Employers

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