Merging creativity with engineering sensibilities, design engineers materialize ideas into new products and systems. On one hand, that can apply to the consumer market—everything from cutting-edge refrigeration appliances and the latest ergonomic blueprints for handheld devices to bicycle components and state-of-the-art aircraft units. But these engineers also work on systems that leverage scientific and mathematical principles to construct large-scale civil projects, such as bridges and tunnels. Furthermore, design engineer jobs will have you modifying current products and systems to enhance their function or to finesse certain aspects. And importantly—design engineers are tasked with making sure any product or system can be manufactured in an efficacious and cost-effective manner.
If you’re truly resourceful, brimming with design ideas, and deeply enjoy coming up with creative solutions, you should consider a career as a design engineer. Your workload will typically unfold with the following triple-plan-of-action: Study and research a given design brief; brainstorm creative approaches to address usability and performance issues; and build prototypes based on renderings and virtual models created with computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Expand your horizons by also reviewing our extensive, multifaceted collection of engineering jobs. Or try contemplating these similar roles:
You can obtain design engineer jobs after completing a foundation degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND), or a university degree, and you should either centre your studies on design engineering (such as a Bachelor of Engineering, or BEng, in design engineering) or go for more specific options, such as industrial design, product design engineering, electronics engineering, or materials science.
Some examples of design engineering courses include:
And if you have a relevant degree, you can look into a company’s graduate trainee scheme straightaway. These programmes combine learning and development with in-house access at mid-to-large-sized engineering firms. They may last about two years and could potentially lead to a permanent role. But any design engineer position will require that you are highly capable around science and maths, despite any creativity that comes with it. Peruse Monster’s engineer job description sample for more information.
A majority of your time working in design engineer jobs will be spent in technical and computer-based work, so make sure to highlight appropriate skills and any knowledge you have of CAD and solid modelling software on your CV.
Maybe you’ve already designed virtual models or built prototypes. Then put together a portfolio to showcase your creations. Some design engineers end up in the mechanical engineering industry as mechanical design engineers (prototyping tools, machines, and sensors), so you can get inspiration for your CV from Monster’s mechanical engineer CV example. Or browse around our plethora of CV writing tips. Be sure to write an enticing engineering cover letter to include in your application too. You can enliven your words with our bevy of recommendations for writing successful cover letters.
As a prospective design engineer, you may be interviewing with major manufacturing labels, biomedical companies, or design consultancy firms, so you should prepare accordingly. Some of the questions you may be asked are:
Go further by checking out Monster’s sample responses to the most common engineering job-interview questions.
The main path for this career is to become a design and development engineer, with an emphasis on researching, designing, developing, and improving products and systems for performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. According to the UK’s National Careers Service, the yearly salary range for this field is £24,000 – £50,000, and that encompasses such job titles as research engineers and industrial designers as well. Then you have product designers—along with prototype designers, 3D designers, and inventors—who should make between £19,000 and £50,000 a year.
Design engineer jobs will satisfy your need for invention and innovation, but you should lay out a plan to make it to the forefront. Monster will expedite this process after you create a profile, ensuring that you get noticed by the right recruiters and receive custom alerts to keep you in the loop throughout your job search.