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Become A Product Design Engineer

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Working As A Product Design Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $88,443

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Design Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Product Design Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial 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 in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Product Design Engineer Jobs

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Product Design Engineer Career Paths

Product Design Engineer
Quality Engineer Systems Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Development Engineer Project Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Product Development Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Product Development Manager Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
New Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Electrical Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Supervisor
Plant/Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Product Development Engineer Mechanical Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Audio Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Development Engineer Mechanical Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Product Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 4.5%
Designer 4.1%
Internship 3.5%
Top Employers After
Engineer 4.9%

Do you work as a Product Design Engineer?

Product Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.6%

Female

9.9%

Unknown

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

57.5%

Asian

16.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.1%

Black or African American

9.1%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.0%

Chinese

15.5%

Mandarin

14.5%

German

10.0%

French

5.5%

Japanese

5.5%

Korean

3.6%

Hindi

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Italian

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Swedish

0.9%

Gujarati

0.9%

Sanskrit

0.9%

Danish

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Malay

0.9%

Norwegian

0.9%

Carrier

0.9%

Portuguese

0.9%
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Product Design Engineer Education

Schools

Wayne State University

10.2%

Purdue University

9.7%

Pennsylvania State University

7.2%

Lawrence Technological University

7.0%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

5.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.8%

University of Phoenix

4.6%

University of Toledo

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

Iowa State University

4.0%

Tennessee Technological University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

Northeastern University

3.8%

Stanford University

3.5%

University of Louisville

3.5%

Western Michigan University

3.5%

Michigan Technological University

3.2%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

42.6%

Business

10.6%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Drafting And Design

5.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

5.0%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Industrial Technology

3.0%

Engineering

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.6%

Management

2.3%

Manufacturing Engineering

2.0%

Aerospace Engineering

2.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.9%

Engineering Technology

1.8%

Computer Engineering

1.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Biomedical Engineering

1.1%

Computer Science

1.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%

Finance

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

31.8%

Other

11.8%

Associate

6.4%

Doctorate

2.3%

Certificate

1.9%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Product Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 09, 2016 $219,000 -
$239,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 23, 2016 $185,000 -
$191,000
Product Design Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Dec 22, 2016 $180,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 31, 2016 $180,000 -
$191,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 03, 2015 $175,000 -
$195,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 28, 2016 $175,000 -
$187,200
Product Design Engineer 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 26, 2016 $170,000 -
$190,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 15, 2015 $169,600 -
$187,200
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 23, 2016 $168,000 -
$191,000
Product Design ENG MGR Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 21, 2016 $166,900 -
$250,300
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 09, 2016 $165,000 -
$185,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 21, 2015 $165,000 -
$183,500
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 11, 2015 $165,000 -
$185,000
Product Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 24, 2015 $105,000 -
$129,900
Product & Design (D&R) Engineer-Automotive Seating MSX Americas, Inc. Dearborn, MI Dec 29, 2015 $103,750
Product Design Engineer Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI Jun 04, 2015 $101,275 -
$122,040
Product Design Engineer-Manager Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Jul 05, 2016 $100,500 -
$120,900
Product Design Engineer Wand Labs, Inc. Redwood City, CA Sep 12, 2015 $100,000
Product Design Research Engineer-Control Engineering Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI Mar 16, 2016 $100,000 -
$110,000
Product Design Engineer Wand Labs Inc. Redwood City, CA Dec 08, 2016 $100,000
Design Engineer, Advanced Technology Products (de-Atp) Tejas Research & Engineering, LLC The Woodlands, TX May 15, 2015 $99,611
Product Design Engineer Johnson Medtech, LLC Methuen Town, MA Sep 23, 2016 $75,000 -
$85,000
Product Design Engineer Outerspace Design Group, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 25, 2016 $75,000
Product Design Engineer-Medical Devices EZEN Computer Services Inc. Raynham, MA Sep 10, 2015 $75,000
Product Design Engineer G&W Electric Company Bolingbrook, IL Aug 23, 2015 $75,000
Product Design Engineer Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Dec 21, 2015 $74,922 -
$84,800
Product Design Engineer Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Feb 02, 2015 $74,838 -
$88,313
Product Design Engineer PMC-Sierra Us, Inc. Allentown, PA Sep 22, 2015 $74,750 -
$89,250

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Top Skills for A Product Design Engineer

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  1. CAD
  2. Concept
  3. Solid Models
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Used 3D scanning to create accurate CAD models for off road vehicles and designed various off road accessories using NX9.
  • Conduct prototype fabrication and testing according to UL requirements for temperature rise and mechanical endurance cycling to validate design concepts.
  • Created Assembly drawings, Solid Models, Installation procedures, Instruction sheets and BOM.
  • Specified design modifications and product improvements as required and supervised all stages of new product development through production start.
  • Recognized by management, implemented over $4 million in cost savings for the 1996 F-Series Truck sealing system.

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Top 10 Best States for Product Design Engineers

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Arizona
  4. Texas
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Colorado
  7. Rhode Island
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Wyoming
  10. New Mexico
  • (7,443 jobs)
  • (1,298 jobs)
  • (699 jobs)
  • (2,997 jobs)
  • (1,679 jobs)
  • (803 jobs)
  • (107 jobs)
  • (336 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (212 jobs)

Top Product Design Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Product Design Engineer Employers

Product Design Engineer Videos

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