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Design and development engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Research engineer, industrial designer

Design engineers improve product performance and efficiency while researching and developing new manufacturing ideas and systems.

Average salary (a year)

£24,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

How to become a design and development engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

University

You'll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to become a design engineer.

You could choose from subjects like:

  • engineering product design
  • industrial design
  • computer-aided design engineering
  • engineering design and manufacture
  • materials science
  • maths and physics

Mechanical, electrical and civil engineering qualifications may also be welcomed by employers.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to start by taking a product design and development engineer degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have experience and qualifications in a particular branch of engineering, for example mechanical, aerospace or energy engineering.

More Information

Further information

You can get more details about engineering careers and training from The Institution of Engineering Designers and Tomorrow's Engineers.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • persistence and determination
  • maths skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will depend on the project, but you could:

  • use mathematical modelling to research new developments and innovations
  • design technical plans for prototypes
  • use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-assisted engineering (CAE) software
  • collect and analyse data from prototype testing
  • modify product designs ahead of manufacture or installation
  • write and present reports to project managers and clients

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a workshop.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

You can use your design skills to work in industries from construction and biomedical engineering to electronics and renewable energy.

You can also improve your career opportunities by working towards incorporated or chartered engineer status and registering with an industry professional body.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Product Design and Development Engineer

  • Wage: To be agreed upon appointment Unspecified
  • Location: Gloucester

Mechanical Engineering Technology Degree Apprentice

  • Wage: £19,760.00 Annually
  • Location: Scunthorpe

Courses In England

Tech Level Engineering: Design

  • Provider: CHELMER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 02 September 2021
  • Location: CHELMSFORD

Design Engineering

  • Provider: RUNSHAW COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: Leyland

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