what is a design engineer?

As a design engineer, you develop products and manufacturing processes to improve the productivity and profitability of a company. You use AUTOCAD and other computer-aided design (CAD) software to create designs for new products. Using computer software helps convert ideas into models, plans and prototypes. Creating prototypes with improved design features allows you to test the functionality of the product design. As well as developing new product designs, you find solutions for improving existing products to suit customers' evolving needs.

Design engineers study, research and develop ideas. When you work in research and development, you analyse market data and analytics to find opportunities for product design improvements. You collaborate with various teams to come up with the best designs. As a design engineer, you design every consumer product and industrial equipment imaginable. For instance, you develop designs for large-scale toys, office equipment, kitchen appliances, electronics and sports equipment production.

Design engineers are concerned with making a safe product that looks good. You use the design specifications to develop cost-effective product designs and evaluate the manufacturing process to ensure efficiency. You require strong maths and information technology (IT) skills to develop the best designs.

Would working as a design engineer suit your creativity and IT skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a design engineer role.

design engineer jobs

average design engineer salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, your average salary as a design engineer in Greece is €45,400 per year. You earn an average hourly rate of €22. The compensation package fluctuates based on various factors, and you start with a salary of approximately €31,300 per year. When you have experience and educational qualifications, you earn more due to your expertise. As a senior design engineer, you can take home about €55,400 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a design engineer

Your compensation package as a design engineer depends on the company you work for. The value of the products you design also influences your earnings. For instance, if you are a design engineer in the aeronautical or aerospace industry, you are likely to earn more than engineers working on electronics and consumer goods. High-value and specialised equipment require additional knowledge and experience to design, which demands a higher salary.

The size of the company you work for also affects your take-home salary. When you work in a large company, you are likely to earn more than working in a small firm. Large companies handle complex projects and tend to have more resources. 

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types of design engineers

Some of the areas of specialisation for design engineers include:

woman working at desk
woman working at desk

working as a design engineer

Design engineers specialise in the science of how things are made. You are involved with the product design from inception to developing the blueprints. Let's explore design engineers' duties, career outlooks and work environments.


design engineer skills and education

To become a design engineer in Greece, you require the following educational qualifications:

  • Education: pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or civil engineering. To get a licence to practise as a design engineer, you can also complete a relevant engineering degree in Greece and sit for an exam at the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE). You should also join the Hellenic Association of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.
  • Work experience: to work as a design engineer, join internships and take advantage of entry-level roles to familiarise yourself with industry standards, such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). You should also improve your grasp of AutoCAD and other computer-aided design software applications.

competencies and characteristics of design engineers

Some of the skills that improve your job success include:

  • Technical skills: you work with complex CAD software to create prototypes and draft product designs. Understanding these tools will help you come up with the best product designs. Hence, you require exceptional technical skills.
  • Mathematical skills: as a design engineer, you draw designs and determine the product specifications. You also estimate the raw materials required to create a product. You rely on mathematical skills to calculate the necessary raw materials and develop blueprints showing product specifications.
  • Creativity: while design engineering is a science and technology field, you rely on creativity to develop product designs and find ideas to improve current products. Creativity helps you try new ideas and discover new ways to enhance product designs.
  • Analytical thinking skills: as a design engineer, you require critical thinking and observational skills. Analytical skills help you diagnose problems and identify issues with product prototypes before production begins. Your analytical thinking also enables you to develop processes for manufacturing new products.
  • Teamwork skills: as a design engineer, you collaborate with other engineers and designers to improve product designs. Teamwork skills help you get along with others and contribute to a positive working environment.
  • Communication skills: since you collaborate with various professionals to complete a product design, communication skills are vital. Communicating your ideas clearly and understanding other people's ideas is crucial.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a design engineer.

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