Design/Product Development Engineer

Design/Product Development Engineer

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:

  • $40-55,000 starting salary
  • $60-80,000 with two to three years' experience

Key qualifications include:

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (required)
  • Physics (required)
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • English
  • Technology subjects, especially Design & Visual Communication, Construction & Mechanical Technology and Digital Technologies


Careers New Zealand: Mechanical Engineer


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Design/Product Development Engineer: People who work in this role

  • Laura Pedofsky

    Product Design Engineer, Laura Pedofsky at work

    Rachel Miller

    Product Development Engineer, Rachel Miller at work

    Arun Ashok

    Mechatronics Engineer, Arun Ashok at work

    Correy Tong

    Product Development Engineer, Correy Tong at work
  • Devatanu Deka

    Systems Engineer, Devatanu Deka at work

    Roy Matthews

    Development Engineer, Roy Matthews at work

    Peter Freeman

    Project Engineer, Peter Freeman at work

    Sarah Ratcliffe

    Product Design Engineer, Sarah Ratcliffe at work
  • Jessica Napper

    Design Engineer, Jessica Napper at work

    Shaun Tan

    Product Development Engineer, Shaun Tan at work

    Andrew Aitken

    Product Development Engineer, Andrew Aitken at work

    Hayden Briscoe

    Product Development Engineer, Hayden Briscoe at work
  • Paul Duncan

    Product Development Engineer, Paul Duncan at work

    Alex Hodge

    Product Development Engineer, Alex Hodge at work

    Michael Boys

    Design Engineer, Michael Boys at work

    Gavin Williams

    Design Engineer, Gavin Williams at work
  • Paul Ngui

    Product Development Engineer, Paul Ngui at work

    Antony Burness

    Product Design Engineer, Antony Burness at work

    Jed Graham

    Product Development Engineer, Jed Graham at work

    Elizabeth (Lizzy) Gordon

    Product Development Engineer, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Gordon at work
  • Olivia Winn

    Product Development Engineer, Olivia Winn at work

    Alicia Evans

    Product Development Engineer, Alicia Evans at work

    Matt Slight

    Product Development Engineer, Matt Slight at work

    Andrew Mowlem

    Design Engineer, Andrew Mowlem at work
  • David Higgins

    Road Design Engineer, David Higgins at work

    Aaron Harry

    Engineer, Aaron Harry at work

    Jeff Carter

    Company Director , Jeff Carter at work

    Campbell Martin

    Engineer, Campbell Martin at work
  • Sarah Wilson

    Product Development Engineer , Sarah Wilson at work

    Dean Barker

    Senior Engineering Specialist, Dean Barker at work

    Charlie Chai

    Product Development Engineer, Charlie Chai at work

    Kotisi Fakalata

    Product Development Engineer, Kotisi Fakalata at work

Design/Product Development Engineer: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • AgResearch
    AgResearch
    Aeroqual
    Aeroqual
    Fraser Engineering
    Fraser Engineering
    Dynamic Controls
    Dynamic Controls
  • Orion Health
    Orion Health
    Navico
    Navico
    Rakon
    Rakon
    Fisher & Paykel Appliances
    Fisher & Paykel Appliances
  • RCR Energy
    RCR Energy
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

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