Design and product development engineers research and develop ideas for new products, structures, machines and systems, and improve existing products.
Design engineers often use advanced computer technology, such as computer-assisted design (CAD) software, to help them create and test virtual models. Once they're happy with the results, they may construct a prototype [physical model] and evaluate its performance in order to fine-tune the design. They generally work in teams alongside CAD drafters and other types of engineer.
Most design and product development engineers are employed in the manufacturing sector, where they design and improve products such as high-tech electronics and robotics, home appliances, healthcare devices, irrigation systems and mountain bikes. They may also be employed in the power generation and distribution sector.
Design and product development engineering are terms that describe a type of work, rather than an individual engineering discipline.
Design and product development engineers generally earn:
Key qualifications include:
Required and recommended school subjects:
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