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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.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real product development engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage design control including FMEA risk analysis, surgeon clinical input documentation, design verification and validation activities.
  • Utilize FEA and CFD analyses throughout development cycle to proof out concepts and analyze design for robustness.
  • Work with NEC, NEMA, UL, and site specific specifications and requirements in the design and installation of systems.
  • Set up, troubleshot and maintain the Linux and Unix machines used in the development, build and test of ADINA.
  • Participate in engineering DFMEA activities.
  • Develop lab monitoring applications utilizing LabView software.
  • Participate in ISO certification readiness team and prepare documents.
  • Develop several qualification validations to comply with FDA requirements.
  • Support production and troubleshoots manufacturing issues guide by FMEA methodology.
  • Utilize tolerance analysis and FEA to verify design decisions and component interactions.
Product Development Engineer Traits
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Product Development Engineer Overview

When it comes to understanding what a product development engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a product development engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, product development engineers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of product development engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 12,800.

A product development engineer annual salary averages $77,444, which breaks down to $37.23 an hour. However, product development engineers can earn anywhere from upwards of $60,000 to $99,000 a year. This means that the top-earning product development engineers make $41,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a product development engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an engineer, mechanical engineer, staff engineer, and facility engineer.

Product Development Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Product Development Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 7% of Product Development Engineers are proficient in Product Development, CAD, and Data Analysis. They’re also known for soft skills such as Creativity, Listening skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Product Development Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Product Development, 7%

    Supervised design team of mechanical engineers prior to creation of Director of Product Development position, and interim supervisor between Directors.

  • CAD, 6%

    Generate component, sub-assembly, and assembly level CAD design for combination product including primary and secondary packaging.

  • Data Analysis, 6%

    Developed multiple visual basic enabled database applications to streamline data analysis and to organize and calculate manufacturing costs for quote preparation.

  • Solidworks, 5%

    Designed lift mechanisms and non-magnetic transport carts for MRI medical research applications using SolidWorks and CosmosWorks

  • R, 5%

    Developed R software to analyze tuning curves over PVT.

  • Project Management, 4%

    Project management responsibilities for sustaining engineering activities, which include material obsolescence and design changes for current surgical product lines.

Most product development engineers list "product development," "cad," and "data analysis" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important product development engineer responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a product development engineer to have in this position are creativity. In this excerpt that we gathered from a product development engineer resume, you'll understand why: "mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery" According to resumes we found, creativity can be used by a product development engineer in order to "establish and create product drawings on autocad and inventor. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling product development engineer duties is listening skills. According to a product development engineer resume, "mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists." Here's an example of how product development engineers are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated directly with the fda to resolve issues regarding disposable resuscitation bag testing methods. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among product development engineers is math skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a product development engineer resume: "mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "performed biomechanical motion studies for optimizing geometry, and prepared a complete pma investigational packet for submission to the fda. "
  • In order for certain product development engineer responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "mechanical skills." According to a product development engineer resume, "mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "participated in mechanical testing of spine implants for validation/verification reports to submit to the fda. "
  • Yet another important skill that a product development engineer must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific principles and discoveries and use them to design and build useful products. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a product development engineer who stated: "charged with overall product design integrity and reduction of engineering costs via design improvements and warranty problem resolution. "
  • See the full list of product development engineer skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a product development engineer. We found that 52.0% of product development engineers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 36.4% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most product development engineers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's impossible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every nine product development engineers were not college graduates.

    Those product development engineers who do attend college, typically earn either a mechanical engineering degree or a electrical engineering degree. Less commonly earned degrees for product development engineers include a business degree or a biomedical engineering degree.

    When you're ready to become a product development engineer, you might wonder which companies hire product development engineers. According to our research through product development engineer resumes, product development engineers are mostly hired by Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and Berry Co. Now is a good time to apply as Intel has 15 product development engineers job openings, and there are 9 at Advanced Micro Devices and 7 at Berry Co.

    Since salary is important to some product development engineers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Dell, Exxon Mobil, and Numonyx. If you were to take a closer look at Dell, you'd find that the average product development engineer salary is $111,622. Then at Exxon Mobil, product development engineers receive an average salary of $107,656, while the salary at Numonyx is $107,564.

    View more details on product development engineer salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Ford Motor Company, Intel, and HP. These three companies have hired a significant number of product development engineers from these institutions.

    The industries that product development engineers fulfill the most roles in are the manufacturing and technology industries. But the highest product development engineer annual salary is in the health care industry, averaging $81,879. In the technology industry they make $81,589 and average about $75,934 in the manufacturing industry. In conclusion, product development engineers who work in the health care industry earn a 12.3% higher salary than product development engineers in the retail industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious product development engineers are:

      What Engineers Do

      Engineers are highly trained professionals who determine the feasibility of various projects, usually related to the construction industry. They are considered experts in mathematics and science, two disciplines that they need to use in designing and coming up with plans for projects. They should also be well-versed in different construction or industrial materials, and they ensure that appropriate materials are used for the project. They also ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the groups that hired them. They create spaces that would both address the needs of the end-users and the industry standards. They also ensure that the projects they make would stand the test of time.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take engineer for example. On average, the engineers annual salary is $875 lower than what product development engineers make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both product development engineers and engineers positions are skilled in cad, data analysis, and solidworks.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a product development engineer responsibilities require skills like "product development," "product design," "prototype," and "ul." Meanwhile a typical engineer has skills in areas such as "python," "cloud," "c #," and "aws." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Engineers really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $94,633. Whereas product development engineers tend to make the most money in the health care industry with an average salary of $81,879.

      On average, engineers reach lower levels of education than product development engineers. Engineers are 8.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Mechanical Engineer?

      Mechanical Engineers oversee the development of various mechanical devices in different industries. Most of the responsibilities will revolve around crafting, improving, or designing technologies by utilizing extensive expertise in the subject; they identify and detect errors, provide in-depth analysis, and resolve issues. They are often in designated offices, but they can also work on-site and travel if necessary. Furthermore, Mechanical Engineers usually function in a group or team setting, often supervised by personnel in higher positions.

      The next role we're going to look at is the mechanical engineer profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $1,848 lower salary than product development engineers per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of product development engineers and mechanical engineers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "product development," "cad," and "solidworks. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that product development engineer responsibilities requires skills like "data analysis," "prototype," "c++," and "fea." But a mechanical engineer might use skills, such as, "electrical systems," "facility," "creo," and "finite element analysis."

      It's been discovered that mechanical engineers earn lower salaries compared to product development engineers, but we wanted to find out where mechanical engineers earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $96,198. Additionally, product development engineers earn the highest paychecks in the health care with an average salary of $81,879.

      On the topic of education, mechanical engineers earn lower levels of education than product development engineers. In general, they're 8.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Staff Engineer Compares

      Staff engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and inspecting various products, equipment, or structures. These professionals may perform varied duties depending on their specialization that includes overseeing the design and construction of buildings, bridges, sewer systems, and other infrastructure, estimating the financial costs of construction projects, and ensuring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations. Other duties include designing and developing machinery, tools, and engines, solving design problems, and building the manufacturing equipment needed to create their products.

      Let's now take a look at the staff engineer profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than product development engineers with a $7,852 difference per year.

      By looking over several product development engineers and staff engineers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "product development," "cad," and "data analysis." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from product development engineer resumes include skills like "solidworks," "product design," "prototype," and "fea," whereas a staff engineer might be skilled in "python," "architecture," "hardware," and "software development. "

      Staff engineers make a very good living in the technology industry with an average annual salary of $107,575. Whereas product development engineers are paid the highest salary in the health care industry with the average being $81,879.

      Staff engineers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to product development engineers. Additionally, they're 2.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 3.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Facility Engineer

      A facilities engineer specializes in managing and maintaining equipment and machinery in manufacturing plants or similar settings. Duties will revolve around conducting research and analysis through extensive data and blueprints, evaluating systems using various reports, handling issues, providing corrective measures, and performing regular inspections and maintenance. Furthermore, it is essential to implement all safety standards and regulations to ensure a safe and productive work environment for everyone.

      Now, we'll look at facility engineers, who generally average a higher pay when compared to product development engineers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,251 per year.

      While both product development engineers and facility engineers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like cad, r, and project management, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "product development," "data analysis," "solidworks," and "product design" are skills that have shown up on product development engineers resumes. Additionally, facility engineer uses skills like procedures, emergency, electrical systems, and autocad on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The energy industry tends to pay more for facility engineers with an average of $109,860. While the highest product development engineer annual salary comes from the health care industry.

      Facility engineers reach lower levels of education when compared to product development engineers. The difference is that they're 16.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 3.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.