Design Engineer

Average Salary: £30,000 - £35,000
Competition: LOW
Years Experience: 1-4 years

Job Summary

Have you got some creative juice in you? Design Engineers have plenty! For an organisation to remain competitive, new ideas for products and systems needs to keep on coming. Like rain in England. Design Engineers develop these ideas for new products and the systems used to produce them. They work on existing products too, by always finding ideas to improve their efficiency and performance.


From the new Dyson Hair Dryer to the iPhone 7 (let’s not mention the Samsung Galaxy Note 7). Design Engineers have been at the centre of many innovations we have at our disposal! They work in many industries and usually have the following responsibilities:

  • Carrying out research on new developments and innovations to identify ideas for new and existing products
  • Creating new designs and plans to be turned into prototypes
  • Testing the prototypes whilst analysing the data from tests and getting feedback from clients
  • Deciding on a final design with clients, making modifications where necessary
  • Ensuring that the product is compliant with safety regulations and is deemed practical
  • Estimating production costs to manufacture the product to its requirements and scale

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Design Engineer should:

  • Be creative and innovative when it comes to problem solving
  • Have excellent communication skills being able to explain ideas in a clear manner
  • Show strong planning and time management skills
  • Have an understanding of design and attention to detail
  • Possess good interpersonal skills and can work in a team effectively

Entry Routes

Becoming a Design Engineer is all very technical! Ideally you will need to complete a degree in Product Design, Industrial Design or even a specific engineering subject. That’s what the employers want! Make sure that the course is accredited by either the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) or Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Employers also tend to look for individuals with experience in some CAD packages, such as SolidWorks and AutoCAD. Learning these packages as early as possible, will give you a head start on your competition! Treat getting a job like a fight to the death! Without actually killing someone, that is.

As ever, relevant work experience forms a vital part of your artillery. So be sure to pursue any internship, work placement or volunteering opportunities. Like L’Oréal, it’s worth it. So many similes.

Job Progression

Graduate Design Engineer

Design Engineer

Principal Design Engineer

Head of Design

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • The Process – Seeing your design come alive is pretty exciting
  • Creative – It’s a career that encourages you to express your creativity
  • Variety – Every project you work on is different, which keeps the job interesting

The Bad

  • High Pressure – There’s often high pressure to create something amazing
  • Difficult Clients – Some clients will be difficult and have unreasonable expectations
  • Specifications – The specification of a project can limit the potential of a project