Design Engineer

Design engineers are responsible for developing ideas for new products and the systems used to produce them.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Design Engineer do?

Design engineers are responsible for developing ideas for new products and the systems used to produce them. They also work out how to improve the performance and efficiency of existing products.


Work activities

As a design engineer, you would:

  • research new developments and innovations
  • look at ways to improve the efficiency and performance of existing designs, machinery and equipment
  • turn the research ideas into sketches, technical plans or prototypes using CAD (computer-aided design) software
  • consider the cost, effectiveness and safety of new designs
  • modify and test designs
  • analyse test data
  • write and present reports.

Key skills and interests

To become a design engineer, you would need:

  • strong problem-solving skills
  • a creative approach for generating new ideas
  • a sound knowledge of computer assisted design (CAD) software and design principles
  • knowledgeable about engineering, engineering materials and manufacturing processes
  • an ability to work on your own and use your initiative
  • excellent communication skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Design engineers would normally work standard hours, Monday to Friday.


Design engineers work in a broad range of industries, creating many of the products that we use on a daily basis. Most of your time would be spent in front of a computer, working in a design or drawing office, with occasional travel to meet clients.


How to become an Design Engineer?

Entry Level Education

Design engineers generally have degrees in mechanical, industrial, or materials engineering, with a focus on design through their course of study To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Engineering graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

The broader field of mechanical engineering can expect to see a slower than average increase in employment.

Design engineers often work in manufacturing environments. As most manufacturing is now done overseas, fewer opportunities exist than previously.

Opportunities may still be available in a smaller number of specialised manufacturing companies in industries such as automobiles, appliances and electronics.


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