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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Salary Range
€20k - €55k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Works on the technical design of new products, selecting materials, researching manufacturing processes, testing prototypes etc.


  • Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

In Summary - Design & Development Engineer

Career Sectors

Design & Development Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Biomedical Technologies & Engineering
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Plastics & Polymer
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical Devices
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Hardware & Manufacturing
Computers & ICT
Engineering & Manufacturing

Videos & Interviews

Tracey Roche, Design Engineer

Tracey works as a Design Evaluation Engineer for Analog Devices in Limerick. She holds a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from UL. She did her co-op 8 month placement during college with Analog and spent her summer after 4th year working for Analog in California.

Sharon Rabi, Design Engineer / Entrepreneur

Engineer, creative designer and entrepreneur Sharon Rabi speaks about her new innovative hair straightning tool along with her role models growing up, how she thinks and the opportunities for women engineers to shape the world through engineering creativity.

Sinead Kenny, Design Engineer

Sinead Kenny works with Creganna in Galway as a Design Engineer in the Medical Device Sector. She did a degree in Material Science from the University of Limerick where she continued with her studies and was awarded a PhD in Biomedical Cements.

Elaine Kelly, Mechanical Design Engineer

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Design & Development Engineer

Design engineers begin each project by looking at a 'brief', (a set of instructions) which explains what the aim of the project is. A car manufacturer, for example, may want to increase sales of one of their cars by reducing fuel consumption or improving the look of a new model. Design engineers are responsible for making sure the product meets the manufacturer's needs and is safe, efficient, reliable, and economical to produce. Before they prepare a design, engineers gather information by talking to other experts, reading engineering literature and looking at the results of test data on materials and processes. Engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) techniques to produce a design on a visual display screen. The computer performs all the necessary calculations relating to the weight of parts and the loads they must bear. The engineer can compare possible solutions by using drawings, calculations, and physical and computer models. Engineers work on models to check and measure the way a product works; they may have to modify their designs as a result. Design engineers work in teams alongside other engineers, technicians and production staff. They may supervise and lead teams of design draughtspeople. They are also responsible for regular progress reports for project managers and clients.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Identify opportunities or implement changes to improve products or reduce costs using knowledge of fabrication processes, tooling and production equipment, assembly methods, quality control standards, or product design, materials and parts.
  • Determine root causes of failures using statistical methods and recommend changes in designs, tolerances, or processing methods.
  • Provide technical expertise or support related to manufacturing.
  • Incorporate new methods and processes to improve existing operations.
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, analysts, administrative staff, or other engineers.
  • Troubleshoot new or existing product problems involving designs, materials, or processes.
  • Review product designs for manufacturability or completeness.
  • Train production personnel in new or existing methods.
  • Communicate manufacturing capabilities, production schedules, or other information to facilitate production processes.
  • Design, install, or troubleshoot manufacturing equipment.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interests - Design & Development Engineer

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.


To be a design engineer, you must have an understanding of scientific principles and mathematical concepts. You need a creative approach to problem solving; you must be patient and willing to modify designs several times until you achieve exactly the right result. You must have good communication skills and be able to work well with others. You must also have a good understanding of manufacturing processes and construction skills. As well as being able to draw and interpret technical drawings and plans, you need computer skills to use computer-aided design programmes. The ability to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines is important. You need to be able to visualise ideas.

Entry Requirements - Design & Development Engineer

Design Engineers typically complete an appropriate engineering degree or equivalent qualification.

Most engineering courses involve some element of design work. It is essential to explore course details to make sure the engineering course you chose is appropriate to the branch of engineering you want to follow.

Depending on level of entry, Design Engineers can gain Chartered Engineer or Associate Engineer status. You can apply for these professional titles through Engineers Ireland after first gaining an accredited degree, diploma or certificate, followed  by three or four years experience in the workplace. All professional titles are highly regarded by employers throughout industry.

Last Updated: October, 2014

Pay & Salary - Design & Development Engineer

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €20k - €55k

Data Source(s):
Sigmar / CPL

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Design & Development Engineer

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

Employers are frequently citing these occupations as difficult to fill although the demand is likely to be small in number given the size of the employment stock. Demand is mostly for roles requiring sector- specific experience (e.g. medium-high, high-tech and food/beverage manufacturing.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Design & Development Engineer

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