Product design engineers create and develop new and innovative products across several industries, including home appliances and manufacturing technology. Those interested in this field often pursue a bachelor's or master's degree. Bachelor's degree students learn how to take a product idea from the conception stage to a finished item, as they spend practical course hours sketching and laying out designs, performing dynamic product analyses and creating prototypes and models. Lectures focus on business, communication and management principles. Discussed topics include material properties and kinematics.
A graduate studies curriculum is 2 years long and covers advanced mechanical engineering, design and drafting, state-of-the-art technologies, human needs analyzation, commercial and industrial engineering, patent law and design software. Applicants must have a bachelor's in mathematics, science, design or engineering and acceptable Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores. At both levels, a product design project must be completed for graduation.
Bachelor of Science in Product Design Engineering Technology
Undergraduate product design engineering programs are interdisciplinary, combining elements of science, mathematics, technology and design. General education courses include English composition, physics and material science. Examples of core subjects are:
- Fundamentals of electrical systems
- Material selection
- Product design
- Manufacturing design
- Applied mechanics
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Master of Science in Product Design Engineering
Most master's courses focus on advanced principles and practices related to product development and design. Specific courses include:
- Design and manufacturing
- Design strategy
- Advanced product design
- Design innovation
- Design research
Popular Career Options
Graduates are qualified for a number of positions in the of manufacturing, engineering and industrial technology fields. Some popular job titles are:
- Design technician
- Product designer
- Product research technician
- Project leader
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for industrial and commercial designers is projected to increase by 2% between 2014 and 2024, with a mean salary of $69,820 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Graduates can further their education with an advanced degree in business or management. For example, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can make one eligible for supervisory or executive employment.
Students interested in product design can complete a bachelor's or master's degree program in product design engineering. Graduates can begin a career in many industrial, manufacturing, and engineering fields including product designer or project leader.