Product Engineer

Analyze, design, and test new products.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$33,000 – $94,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Product Engineers do?

As a Product Engineer, you design, test, and produce new products for consumers. There are many areas of product engineering, so you might specialize in one, like software or small appliances.

The job of a Product Engineer overlaps with other fields of engineering, such as mechanical and electrical. To illustrate, let’s say you’re designing a toy that copies a child’s voice. Not only do you consider materials, costs, and function, but you also incorporate eyes that light up, voice recognition software, and a recording device. For this reason, you often work with a team composed of other Engineers, Technicians, and Architects.

Once the design details are hammered out, you monitor the creation of a prototype. Then you put it through a battery of tests. Depending on the results, you then tweak the design until the product functions perfectly. This is a long process, and once complete, your design hits the production line.
But your job doesn’t end there. You also supervise the production and sometimes even the marketing efforts. With market feedback, you analyze consumer comments and make improvements for the next model.

Along the way, you write detailed reports of each step you’ve made, and sometimes you go as far as actually writing the instruction manual. So obviously, you’ll need strong writing skills for this position. In addition, you need to be able to relay ideas in a clear way, work well as part of a team, have patience for bumps in the road, and love tinkering with designs.

Should I be a Product Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • 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.

  • Also known as: Product Design Engineer

    How to become a Product Engineer

    Most Product Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:abwd9d&chl=|no+college+%281%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29|associate%27s+%2825%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2852%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,52
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