Who is a Design Engineer? Salary, Skills & Career

What is a Design Engineer? Learn the Skills, Salary, and Career Scope

A design engineer is a professional responsible for researching and creating a company’s new products and systems. They look for innovative ways to construct functional products using computer software and develop prototypes to test their ideas.
The opportunities for design engineers are exponentially increasing across different industries such as electronics, aerospace, and consumer manufacturing.
Let’s learn about what a design engineer does, the skills required, and ways to be one.

What Do Design Engineers Do?

A design engineer performs different tasks in an engineering department like – drawing blueprints, assembling test prototypes, and supervising the manufacturing process. The typical tasks include:

  • Creating a design using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Assisted Engineering (CAE) software.
  • Consulting with clients and stakeholders to determine what exactly the finished structure would look like.
  • Meeting with the research and development teams to understand the parameters of the proposed design.
  • Working with a team of engineers to construct the prototypes.
  • Testing the design to confirm it fulfils the client’s requirements along with maintaining the quality and other standards.
  • Modifying previous designs to meet the redirected project’s needs.
  • Drafting technical reports and conveying them to clients, associates, and other involved members.
  • Leading a team of engineers and planning effectively to confirm project delivery on time.

What are the Skills Required to Become a Design Engineer?

Now that you know what a design engineer does, let’s discuss the skills required to thrive in this domain.

Mathematical skills

– To understand the design and several factors of a product, a design engineer must have strong mathematical skills.

Technical skills

– Good understanding of AutoCAD and other drafting software is beneficial, as the job description typically needs extensive use of computer-aided design and engineering software.

Analytical thinking

– The continuous minor changes in the details of a prototype or a system flow can significantly impact the output. Thus, a design engineer must always be into identifying difficulties and troubleshooting them.

Communication Skills

– They should possess good listening and communication skills to understand design requests and explain the various technical parameters to non-technical colleagues.

Time management

– Design engineers on a single page had to look for the various aspects of a product, starting from design to analysis and building prototypes. Hence, depending on the preference, they should split the work accordingly.


A single design engineer cannot produce a complete design independently. Instead, they work with various other professionals like- engineers, financial analysts, and specialised experts to get the job done. Therefore, proficiency in cooperating and working in a team is beneficial for the overall outcome.

Salary and Career Scope of a Design Engineer

The salary of a design engineer in India ranges from ₹ 2 Lakhs to ₹ 12 Lakhs [Source]. And the annual average salary ranges from ₹ 3.6 Lakhs to ₹ 5 Lakhs [Source].

However, the salary of design engineers relies on their:

  • Educational qualification
  • Years of work experience
  • The size, type, and location of the company

Many areas in engineering are different from one another but have a common aspect. Analogously some of the common engineering domains where design engineers find work include:

  • Automotive components companies
  • Electrical and Electronics component industries
  • Computer hardware businesses
  • Power and utility firms
  • Aeronautical and aerospace companies
  • Design consultancy firms
  • Pharmaceutical and medical equipment organisations
  • Shipbuilding manufacturers
  • Consumer goods manufacturers

Based on the above domains, it is clear that a design engineer’s job role varies depending on the industry type.

How to Become a Design Engineer?

To become a proficient design engineer, a bachelor’s degree in any field is an important prerequisite. Once you have the degree, possessing relevant skills and knowledge base can give you a competitive edge over other candidates and help you land a high-paying job.

You can easily acquire such in-demand skills from the comfort of your home with a range of Online design thinking courses available.

Emeritus India offers various design thinking courses in collaboration with world-rank institutes which cover topics such as:

These concepts will effectively drive your creative ideation and pattern recognition skills. You can explore our website for other online design thinking courses and choose one depending on your area of interest to speed up your career progression.

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