A product engineer designs and improves products in ways that make them useful and marketable.

Do you dream of becoming an inventor? Have tons of creative ideas floating around in your head? Become a product engineer and you’ll spend your days designing and perfecting new, innovative products that serve your customers’ needs. You’ll combine your knowledge of the principles of engineering and mathematics with out-of-the-box thinking and visual talent in order to create a product that’s manufactured on the production floor. You’ll handle everything from the material used to create the product to the way it’s shipped out of the facility.

Product engineers work closely with other engineers and designers as they begin the design process. You’ll also communicate with the customer throughout the project to ensure that they are satisfied with the product. As a result, you’ll need strong interpersonal skills and you’ll need to be able to handle criticism and revisions to your ideas.

You’ll spend lots of time on the computer, working with computer-aided design (CAD) software to create technical drawings of the product that will then be used to construct a prototype of the product. Next, you’ll design quality tests that check for needed changes to the prototype. You’ll direct any necessary improvements and make sure everything works before sending the finished technical drawings to the assembly line, where you’ll conduct even more quality tests.

You’ll need to keep in mind budget, time, and resource constraints, and you’ll create progress reports for the customer and management.

All product engineers will need a bachelor’s in a specific engineering field, with additional courses in product development and design, including CAD software. Hands-on experience will help you stand out as a job applicant.

Also Known As:

Aerospace Engineers, Civil Engineers, Marine Engineers, Nuclear Engineers, Electrical Drafter

Critical Skills


  • Analyze Test Results and Data
  • CAD or AutoCAD Software
  • Computers
  • Drawing
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics


  • Active Listening
  • Communication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking/Oral
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Leadership
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources
  • Problem Solving
  • Product Management
  • Teamwork
  • Troubleshooting

Key Responsibilities

  • Design, model, and test prototypes for products
  • Establish design briefs
  • Create concepts, performance, and production criteria
  • Identify and select materials and parts needed for production
  • Produce final hand drawings and specifications
  • List costs involved in production
  • Make samples of working models for demonstration
  • Plan marketing initiatives for product
  • Negotiate appropriate production processes
  • Improve usability of an item
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) to design concepts


  • Aerospace
  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • Petroleum, Oil, Gas
  • Wind Energy

How to get this job

PMP Certification, gain experience with communication skills software, system design, and programming. Get skills in technical writing and oral presentations.

Next Steps for this job

PMP Certification, LEAN/Six Sigma certification, experience in time management, take on project management work.

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.