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Become A Product Engineer

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Working As A Product 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

  • $81,400

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Engineer Do

A Product Engineer plans, manages, and performs product designs. They are also responsible for testing the quality of finised products and recommending changes, as necessary, to product specifications.

How To Become A Product 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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Product Engineer jobs

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Real Product Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head of Product, People Insights and Engineering Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jan 18, 2016 $225,000
Product Engineering Architect Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 15, 2016 $190,000 -
Product Engineering Architect Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 15, 2015 $182,863 -
Manager II, Product Engineering Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA May 04, 2015 $163,650
Product Engineer Lam Research Corporation Fremont, CA Jul 09, 2016 $163,000
Product Engineer-Expert HGST, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 09, 2015 $162,000 -
Product Engineer Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Sunnyvale, CA Jul 09, 2016 $161,498 -
Product Engineer Plangrid, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 08, 2016 $160,000
Product Engineer Mixpanel, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 24, 2015 $160,000
Product Engineer Plangrid, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2015 $160,000
Product Engineer Plangrid, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 22, 2015 $160,000
Engineering Mananger-Product Lifecycle Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 09, 2016 $159,182 -
Product Engineer III-Pump Product Engineer FMC Technologies Stephenville, TX Apr 29, 2015 $91,515
Manager of Product Engineering Insurance Services Office, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 08, 2015 $91,500 -
Product Engineer Dakkota Integrated Systems, LLC Holt, MI Sep 22, 2016 $91,478
Product Engineer St. Jude Medical, Implantable Electronic Systems Division Selma, CA Sep 30, 2015 $91,476
GIS Product Engineer Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. Redlands, CA Sep 14, 2015 $91,440
Product Engineer-Powertrain Altair Productdesign, Inc. Livonia, MI Dec 05, 2016 $91,411
Product Engineer-Software TRW Automotive Inc. Livonia, MI Aug 22, 2016 $91,354
Product Engineer Altera Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 19, 2015 $91,350
Product Engineer Mahle Behr USA Inc. Troy, MI Jul 09, 2016 $80,580
Product Engineer New England Wheels, Inc. Billerica, MA Apr 08, 2016 $80,579
Product Engineer Intel Corporation Austin, TX Oct 31, 2016 $80,546 -
Product Engineer Intel Corporation Austin, TX Jan 10, 2016 $80,546 -
Mems Product Engineer Analog Devices Inc. Wilmington, MA Aug 26, 2015 $80,470 -
Product Engineer Analog Devices, Inc. Wilmington, MA Oct 01, 2015 $80,470 -
Product Engineer Aptina, LLC San Jose, CA Aug 18, 2015 $80,455
Product Engineer Powertrain Millennium Software, Inc. Dearborn, MI Jul 13, 2016 $80,430

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Top Skills for A Product Engineer


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Top Product Engineer Skills

  1. New Product Development
  2. Product Line
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked with marketing to develop product literature and new product development.
  • Worked closely with marketing, sales, other team members to perfect the product line.
  • Applied design methodologies using 3-D software, AutoCAD, generating bill of materials, established engineering specifications and project management.
  • Supported Foundry Management cost reduction through characterization and qualification of new processes.
  • Develop the DFMEA and other engineering disciplines if specified by the customer.

Top Product Engineer Employers

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