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What does a Design Engineer do?

Attention math and science geeks--engineering may be your perfect career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that salaries for engineers are among the highest for college grads. Engineering offers multiple specialties requiring design capability. They use math and science for reviewing a problem and developing solutions using design and analytical skills. Design engineers may create machinery, tools, technology, systems and structures.

Design engineers: using math, science and computer skills for finding solutions

Although BLS does not define design engineers as a career title, professionals within most engineering categories participate in designing products, equipment and technology used within their specialties. Engineers use math and science for researching product needs and design problems and developing solutions according to their specialization.

Engineers also use computers and engineering software for making calculations, designing and modifying product models. Design engineers test their designs and refine them as necessary for achieving maximum durability, functionality and efficiency. Engineers also solve problems relating to cost efficiency for producing their designs.

Learning for earning: what design engineers need to know

Design engineers typically have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering, although degrees in math and sciences related to high-demand engineering jobs may be acceptable.The BLS notes that most engineering degrees are awarded in the categories of civil, electrical, electronics and mechanical engineering. These degrees allow graduates to seek careers within more specialized segments of engineering as well as their areas of study. Engineering degree programs typically require taking courses courses in any of the following areas:
  • Advanced mathematics
  • Physical and life sciences
  • Design
  • Engineering methods
  • Engineering technology
Courses in liberal arts, fine arts and social sciences enhance critical thinking and analytical skills useful in engineering. You will likely work as part of design and manufacturing teams, and strong verbal and written communication skills enhance team performance while reducing errors. Your engineering degree program may provide for selecting an area of concentration, which provides for selecting courses and research projects directly related to your career interests.

The BLS notes that all 50 states and the District of Columbia require licensing of engineers directly serving the public, so check with your state for specific educational requirements related to licensing.

Careers for engineers: sizzling job opportunities

Since each engineering specialty is responsible for design, whether biomedical engineers, who design for life and health systems, electrical engineers, who design electrical equipment, or computer software engineers, who design software programs, your salary potential varies greatly depending on the specialty you choose.

Earning any type of engineering degree allows you to focus your interest in design toward specialized fields within engineering. General engineering and design concepts and principles can also be applied to fields including architecture and manufacturing.Turn your skills and interests into an engineering career. Admissions and career counselors can assist with finding an engineering program matching your interests and career goals.

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