Engineering Design Career Requirements and Information

Engineering design is the initial conceptualization stage of an engineering project. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Engineering design applies to a variety of careers. These include civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers. This article explores these occupations in further detail.

Essential Information

Engineering design involves conceptualizing compositions for complex structures and systems. Engineers work with a team to outline blueprints for a system and then perform tests to determine if the design is sound. Individuals hoping to become engineers must earn at least their bachelor's degree in either civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering. Engineers must demonstrate exceptional analytical and communication skills.

Career Civil Engineers Mechanical Engineers Electrical Engineers
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree; master's degree recommended Bachelor's degree; master's degree recommended Bachelor's degree; master's degree recommended
Other Requirements Licensure as a professional engineer Licensure as a professional engineer Licensure as a professional engineer
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8%* 5%* 1%*
Median Salary (2015) $82,220* $83,590* $93,010*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Requirements for Engineering Designers

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in the field of engineering design must earn a Bachelor of Science degree in one of the three main engineering fields - mechanical, electrical or civil engineering - at the very minimum. Many engineering designers also have a master's degree as well. Those interested in getting into engineering design are good at solving problems and coming up with designs. They work closely with other members of their team - such as the drafter - to come up with a plan. The design engineer is different from a planning engineer because they focus on coming up with new systems and projects instead of building on already existing ones. They must also create prototypes of their designs in order to find mistakes and correct them before they go onto the next stage of production. Design engineers work well individually and in a team and are able to take an idea and begin to turn it into an actual product.

Information on Starting a Career in Engineering Design

All engineers should be proficient in CAD (computer-aided design) and it is highly recommended (and many times required by employers) that a design engineer be licensed by the state they work in. This requirement varies by state and by which type of engineering one has a background in.

Career Options

Those majoring in engineering pick a concentration of either civil, mechanical, or electrical. All of these professionals must earn their bachelor's degrees, although more than one fifth of engineers also have their master's degrees.

Mechanical Design Engineers

Mechanical engineers deal with energy and can work in various industries including aerospace engineering or designing cars. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering takes approximately 4-5 years to complete. Those who wish to continue their education can go on to earn a Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, Master of Science or a Master of Engineering Management degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment opportunities to grow five percent for mechanical engineers during the 2014-2024 decade. As of May 2015, mechanical engineers earned a median salary of $83,590, the BLS reported.

Electrical Design Engineers

Becoming an electrical design engineer is a good fit for individuals interested in designing new electronic devices such as the next great phone or television. Electrical engineers are strong in math and science. They must also earn a bachelor's degree and many go on to earn a master's degree.

Electrical engineers could see five percent job growth from 2014 until 2024, the BLS predicted. These professionals had a median salary of $93,010, as of May 2015.

Civil Design Engineers

Civil design engineers are responsible for designing physical things in their community, such as a freeway system, or oversee the design and construction of a skyscraper. They have a strong grasp of physics and all math and science disciplines and are good at managing their teams.

The median salary for civil engineers was $82,220 in May 2015, and they were expected to see an employment growth rate of 8% that decade, the BLS noted.

Civil engineers have the greatest amount of job growth over the next decade. Regardless of the type of engineering, job applicants can benefit from further education and experience.

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