Physical Design Engineer

Plan how electronic products will look like.
picture of Physical Design Engineer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Physical Design Engineers do?

Computers, smartphones, televisions, and other electrical devices have a significant amount of theory behind them. Engineers spend hours thinking about what the product will do once it is built and ready to go. But all of those lofty ideas must be housed in a shell, and they must be hooked up properly so the thing actually works.

This is why a Physical Design Engineer is so important. A Physical Design Engineer creates technical plans that turn an idea into a tangible product.

The work you do as a Physical Design Engineer depends heavily on the industry you work for. In a computer chip manufacturing company, you may spend your days thinking about tiny chips and how they fit into tiny products. In a cell phone manufacturing company, issues of buttons and antennas may consume your thoughts.

The role you play in product development is rather straightforward. You’re a member of a team that’s likely made up of other Engineers as well as Drafters and Production Managers, and each of you has a specific portion of the job to design.

With your marching orders in hand, you use a computer program to draw complicated plans that outline how the product should be built. Drafters help refine your crude sketches so you can present them.

Periodically, you meet up with the team and everyone compares drawings, making sure all plans are coordinated and destined to work together. This process may be repeated over and over until everything looks just right.


Should I be a Physical Design Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Physical Design Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Physical Design Engineer-related education!
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