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Become A Senior Design Engineer

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $100,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Design Engineer Career Paths

Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Senior Scientist Research And Development Director
Vice President Of Research And Development
13 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Design Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Senior Design Engineer
Engineer 5.3%
Designer 4.2%
Top Careers After Senior Design Engineer
Consultant 4.8%
Engineer 4.7%

Do you work as a Senior Design Engineer?

Senior Design Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.5%

Female

8.8%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

54.5%

Asian

18.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

5.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.3%

Chinese

10.5%

German

10.5%

Carrier

9.5%

French

6.8%

Japanese

6.4%

Mandarin

5.9%

Russian

4.1%

Hindi

3.6%

Italian

3.2%

Portuguese

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Urdu

2.3%

Cantonese

2.3%

Romanian

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Marathi

1.4%

Dakota

1.4%

Turkish

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%
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Senior Design Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.4%

San Jose State University

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

6.6%

Arizona State University

6.2%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.6%

University of Southern California

5.5%

University of Texas at Austin

5.3%

More Tech Institute

4.7%

University of Florida

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

University of Houston

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.0%

Wichita State University

4.0%

Drexel University

4.0%

Iowa State University

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.8%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

26.4%

Electrical Engineering

26.0%

Business

8.0%

Engineering

4.3%

Civil Engineering

4.1%

Computer Engineering

4.0%

Drafting And Design

4.0%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Computer Science

2.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Management

2.0%

Aerospace Engineering

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Graphic Design

1.4%

Physics

1.2%

Chemical Engineering

1.1%

Industrial Engineering

1.0%

Finance

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.6%

Masters

30.7%

Other

12.5%

Associate

6.0%

Doctorate

3.8%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$100,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$77,000
Min 10%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$130,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Senior Design Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Design Engineer in the United States is $100,589 per year or $48 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $77,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $130,000.

Real Senior Design Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Design Engineering Piping and Layout Global Edge Solutions, LLC Houston, TX Jul 11, 2016 $208,000
Senior Mixed Signal Design Engineer Robert Bosch LLC Palo Alto, CA Aug 08, 2016 $180,000
Senior Camera Module Design Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 28, 2015 $168,800 -
$229,300
Engineer Senior Physical Design Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Dec 23, 2016 $166,601 -
$193,521
Senior Design Engineer Esencia Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 11, 2016 $165,000
Senior Design Engineer Plangrid, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 30, 2016 $165,000
Senior Design Engineer Esencia Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Nov 07, 2016 $165,000
Senior Piping Design Engineer Edoxx Technical Services, LLC Houston, TX Jan 03, 2015 $162,240
Senior IC Design Engineer Invecas, Inc. Santa Clara, CA May 23, 2016 $162,000
SR. Physical Design Engineer Nvidia Corporation Austin, TX Aug 22, 2016 $161,400
Senior Design Engineer Esencia Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 27, 2016 $160,000
Senior Reactor Design/Analysis Engineer Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN May 12, 2015 $155,372
Senior Physical Design Engineer Invecas, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Dec 24, 2015 $155,000
CAD Engineer, SR. MTS Altera Corporation San Jose, CA Feb 19, 2016 $153,032 -
$189,277
Senior Design Engineer 1 ASML Us, Inc. Wilton, CT Sep 05, 2016 $114,962
SR. Mask Design Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA May 27, 2016 $114,950 -
$134,950
Design Engineer, Senior Altera Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 18, 2015 $114,882 -
$130,000
Design Engineer, Senior Altera Corporation San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2015 $114,882 -
$135,000
Senior Engineer, Systems Design & Strategy T-Mobile USA, Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 08, 2015 $114,858
SR. Logic Design Engineer Teledyne Lecroy, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Nov 19, 2015 $114,729 -
$130,000
Senior OSA Design Engineer Finisar Corporation Fremont, CA Feb 26, 2016 $114,691
Engineer, SR. Staff-IC Design Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Dec 01, 2015 $114,681 -
$166,300
Senior Engineer, Systems Design & Strategy T-Mobile USA, Inc. Bellevue, WA May 11, 2015 $99,902 -
$114,000
Senior Design Engineer 1 ASML Us, Inc. Wilton, CT Jul 02, 2016 $99,900
Senior Design Engineer 1 ASML Us, Inc. Wilton, CT Aug 08, 2015 $99,900
Senior Engineer, Systems Design and Strategy T-Mobile USA, Inc. Snoqualmie, WA Sep 28, 2015 $99,879
Senior Engineer, Systems Design and Strategy T-Mobile USA, Inc. Snoqualmie, WA Dec 05, 2016 $99,879
Senior Electromagnetics Design Engineer Access Business Group International LLC Ada, MI Oct 19, 2015 $99,800 -
$132,068
SR. Engineer, Systems Design & Strategy T-Mobile USA, Inc. Bellevue, WA Oct 18, 2016 $99,788 -
$105,000
Senior Engineer-Design Caterpillar Inc. Rossville, IL Sep 12, 2015 $99,612

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Top Skills for A Senior Design Engineer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Engineering Department
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed and coordinated new product development efforts to develop new line of powered and non-powered medical carts and other ergonomic equipment.
  • Developed project management checklist and Microsoft Project schedule template for engineering department to facilitate consistent development of project schedules.
  • Developed training materials and task-based education of mask design team to productively utilize TCL programming model for layout implementation and verification.
  • Performed full-corner and Monte Carlo circuit simulation and characterization using Cadence.
  • Utilized CATIA solid modeling for assembly installation purposes and interference checks.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Design Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Alaska
  5. New Mexico
  6. Delaware
  7. Texas
  8. Maryland
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Connecticut
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  • (59 jobs)
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  • (612 jobs)

Top Senior Design Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Design Engineer Employers

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