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Become A Product Development Engineer

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Working As A Product Development 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

  • $75,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Development Engineer Do

A Product Development Engineer is responsible for creating and testing new product designs. They collaborate with market researchers to evaluate market needs, existing competition, and potential costs.

How To Become A Product Development Engineer

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


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.


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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167,336 Product Development Engineer jobs

General Atomics and Affiliated Companies
San Diego, CA
Product Development Engineer- Electronics

$78,242 Estimated

Bastian Material Handling
Indianapolis, IN
Product Development Engineer

$62,089 Estimated

Integra Lifesciences
Mansfield, MA
Product Development Engineer II

$77,011 Estimated

Eaton Corporation
Aurora, CO
New Product Development Engineer

$76,805 Estimated

Danaher Corporation
Thousand Oaks, CA
Product Development Engineer

$91,374 Estimated

Integra Lifesciences
Mansfield, MA
Product Development Engineer - Mechanical

$77,011 Estimated

Plymouth, MN
Product Development / Sr. Product Development Engineer

$79,475 Estimated

Exide Technologies
Milton, GA
Senior Product Development Engineer

$74,540 Estimated

Danaher Corporation
Belleville, IL
Product Development Test Engineer

$73,311 Estimated

Eaton Corporation
Aurora, CO
New Product Development Engineer

$76,805 Estimated

Ametek, Inc.
Rosemead, CA
New Product Development Engineer

$75,500 Estimated

Santa Clara, CA
Sr. Product Development Engineer

$105,000 Estimated

Exide Technologies
Fort Smith, AR
Senior Product Development Engineer

$87,273 Estimated

Lifenet Health
Virginia Beach, VA
Product Development Engineer

$73,526 Estimated

Kimberly Clark
Neenah, WI
Product Development Engineer

$62,047 Estimated

Lear Corporation
Rochester Hills, MI
Product Development Engineer

$80,000 Estimated

Exide Technologies
Fort Smith, AR
Senior Product Development Engineer

$87,273 Estimated

IMI Precision Engineering
Littleton, CO
New Product Development Engineer

$76,805 Estimated

Kelly Services
Dearborn, MI
Product Development Engineer

$81,203 Estimated

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Minneapolis, MN
Product Development Engineer

$73,454 Estimated

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Real Product Development Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Software Product Development Engineer Marvell Semiconductor Inc. Santa Clara, CA Nov 22, 2016 $165,000 -
Software Product Development Engineer, Senior Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 20, 2016 $148,000
Software Product Development Engineer, Senior Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 08, 2016 $148,000
Product Development Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Apr 06, 2016 $142,310
Product Development Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Jul 19, 2016 $138,154
Staff Product Development Engineer Outset Medical, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 07, 2015 $132,000
Product Development Engineer-Software Development MCI Communications Services San Jose, CA Feb 22, 2016 $130,000
Smts Product Development Engineer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Austin, TX Dec 12, 2016 $128,981 -
Principal-Product Development Engineer at&T, Inc., and All of Its Subsidiaries and Affiliates Redmond, WA Sep 01, 2015 $128,710
Staff Product Development Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Jan 21, 2015 $128,400
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Top Skills for A Product Development Engineer


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Top Product Development Engineer Skills

  1. New Product Development
  2. Prototype
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Defined, lead and initiated new product development process improvements contributing to nearly $1MM reduction in overall company cost.
  • Project phases included, packaging studies, prototype component builds, trial system installations, installation documentation and drawing release.
  • Coordinate all necessary drawings and blueprints (manage CAD Department).
  • Support for the creation of Test Protocols and Test Procedures.
  • Served as project leader and lead engineer to upgrade our flagship posterior cervical product line.

Top Product Development Engineer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Product Development Engineer

  1. Navistar
  2. Ford Motor Company
  3. Intel Corporation
  4. Sprint
  5. Advanced Micro Devices
  6. Zimmer
  7. Carestream Health
  8. Bemis Flexible Packaging
  9. Te Connectivity
  10. Avalara, Inc.
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