Product Design Engineer | What They Do, Salary, Certification, Required Skills and More.

Product Design Engineer

Product Design Engineers play a vital role in the growth of every organization and as such worth considering as a career opportunity in the business sphere.

A product design is a strategy of blending what users need with business goals to enable brands to make successful products. It is the work of a product designer to make use of user experiences and feedbacks to create user-friendly solutions for the users.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about who a product design engineer is, what they do and how to become one.

Who is a Product Design Engineer?

They are also known as an industrial designer. Product engineers are responsible for creating products that are marketable for business brands. They also carry out research about products, develop and improve their performance and quality.

Product design engineers make use of computer-aided design (CAD)  to create new or improve existing product designs for consumer needs and manufacturing processes.

Types of Product Design Engineers

Product design has to do with the functionality of the product, the packaging, the safety, and the durability of the products. There are different types of product design engineers to handle these various aspects. They include software design engineers and those who develop the product’s system and interface.

There are electrical design engineers that design the connections to power the product, hardware design engineers design the body and packaging of the product, FX design engineers to develop the hardware and make the product look appealing, etc.

Product Design Engineer Job Description

Product design engineer jobs require that they know design engineering and manufacturing processes to create products.

What Do Product Design Engineers Do?

First, they create products for brands that will be marketable and profitable. After they have done that, they test the products to ensure that they meet all the requirements and standards.

Product designers carry out analysis on a new product prototype to determine what process and requirements they will need to create it before they start working on it.

This analysis will also help them find information about the target audience, the risks involved, the cost and budget of execution, the possibility of its success, the functionality, safety, durability, etc.

They are also responsible for documenting the process and results of their product designs and the outcome of the sales to keep track of their process and make amends when necessary.

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These engineers research new and better ideas and ways to make new products and enhance existing products. This will ensure that customers remain satisfied and have a better user experience.

After they have manufactured a product they evaluate the functionality and success mostly through customer reviews.

How to Become a Product Design Engineer

The educational requirements to become a product design engineer include; getting a high school diploma, GED, or any equivalent first. This is necessary because without it you cannot get a degree.

Secondly, you need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in product design and manufacturing, product design engineering and technology, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or in any other related field.

You will be taught courses like machine design, industrial design, statistics, computer-aided designs, product development management, applied mechanics, manufacturing processes, thermodynamics, fundamentals of electrical systems, etc.

Product design engineering involves various industries, so it is up to you to determine which major you will study considering your interests and career goals.  For instance, if you want to work in a software design company, you should obtain a degree in software engineering.

After you have obtained a bachelor’s degree, you can proceed to get a master’s degree. Even though this is not compulsory, it gives you an advantage in the job market because some employers require that candidates must have a master’s degree.

Obtaining a master’s degree in product design or any other related field allows you to develop better knowledge and skills in your field.

Most employers require candidates to have experience with the type of product that they will be working with. For instance, a candidate who is applying to work in an information technology company should have experience with computers and a knowledge of how to use them for information technology products.

To gain experience in any aspect of product design engineering, you can intern in a company you are interested in working for or enroll in a product design boot camp. Available and ongoing internships can be found here

How to Become a Licensed Product Design Engineer

Most employers don’t require licensure especially if you are applying for an entry-level job. However, it may become necessary for you to obtain an engineering license at a certain point in your career when you will need to have direct control over a public project and supervise other engineers or sell your engineering services.

The required licensure or certifications usually vary depending on the company and employer. It is important to note that obtaining a license is a wise strategic decision that will aid in your career advancement.

To become licensed, you must first obtain a four-year degree in an engineering program that is relevant to product design. After you have earned the degree, you will have to write and pass the Fundamental of Engineering and Principles of Engineering exams.

You must also complete four years of engineering apprenticeship under a product engineer.

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Qualities of a Good Product Design Engineer

A product designer needs to be creative and diligent to create products that are not only functional but also appealing. Diligence and patience are very important because putting together a design might be tiring and takes time.

Most times product design requires the collaboration of different engineers and as such, they need to work in synergy thus, it is important to possess the ability to work with others, be friendly and be courteous.

Communication and interpretational skills are also very important. This will help you understand and interpret exactly what the client needs. As a product design engineer, you should also have excellent reading and writing skills to enable you to document the entire creation and execution process in a way that everyone will understand.

A product designer must know how to use IT systems such as Microsoft ( Excel, Powerpoint, Word, etc), 3D modeling, Adobe Acrobat, or AutoCAD.

When creating a design for a product, you must take everything that will need to be adjusted, improved on or even, eliminated. Thus as a design engineer, you should have the ability to pay attention to the minute details of every design you work on to ensure that everything is exactly the way it should be.

A product design engineer must have experience and knowledge of manufacturing processes, mechanical design, and blueprint interpretation. Good sketching skills and the ability to solve maths problems about the design are also very important.

Patience is also very important because producing a design might be quite tasking thus you will need to be resilient.

Product Design Engineer Jobs

As a product design engineer, you can work in different companies or industries. You can work in government organizations, research, and development organizations, construction or product manufacturing companies.

Companies that hire design engineers include Ford motor company, Apple, BMW, Microsoft, Google, etc.

As an Apple product design engineer, you will be responsible for creating new designs and making products that will enhance the user mobile experience. You will work across different functional teams such as industrial design, hardware design, and engineering, safety, packaging, and marketing.

Products manufactured by Apple include phones, laptops, smartwatches, tablets, etc.

Product Design Engineer Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, as of Jul 28, 2021, a product design engineer earns an average salary of approximately $40.54 per hour, $1,621 per week, or $7,026 per month which is $84,316 a year.

Some product designers may earn more or less according to their level of education, years of experience, the company they work in, their areas of specialization, and other factors. For instance, the average salary of an Apple product design engineer is $147,506 per year which is 36% higher than the average salary of other engineers.

Frequently Asked Questions.

A product design is a strategy of blending what users need with business goals to enable brands to make successful products.

They are responsible for creating products that are marketable for business brands. They also carry out research about products, develop and improve their performance and quality.

Product design engineers create and test new products or develop existing products to meet customers’ needs.

Product design engineers make an average of  $84,316 in a year.

Yes, you must earn a Bachelor’s degree at least to become a product design engineer.

Yes, an engineer can become a product design engineer.

Apple product design engineer salary;


In one way or another design engineers affect the day-to-day life of people through the products that they use. So if you are looking for a career that allows you to make an impact while being creative and allows you to maximize your engineering knowledge and make money at the same time then product design engineering is definitely what you need to do.

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