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Design and development engineer Green Job

Design engineers improve product performance and efficiency while researching and developing new manufacturing ideas and systems.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Design and development engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will depend on the project, but you could:

  • use mathematical modelling to research new developments and innovations
  • use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided engineering (CAE) software
  • design technical plans for prototypes and analyse data from testing
  • modify product designs
  • write and present reports to project managers and clients

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a workshop.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You'll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to become a design and development engineer.

You could choose from courses like:

  • engineering product design
  • industrial design
  • computer aided design engineering
  • engineering design and manufacture
  • materials science
  • maths and physics

Mechanical, electrical and civil engineering qualifications might also be accepted by employers.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You might be able to do a Robotics Engineer or Product Design and Development Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You could apply directly for design and development engineer roles.

You'll need to have experience and qualifications in a particular branch of engineering, for example mechanical, aerospace or energy engineering.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about engineering careers and training from the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and Tomorrow's Engineers.

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You can use your design skills to work across different industries such as construction, biomedical engineering, electronics and renewable energy.

You can also improve your career opportunities by working towards incorporated or chartered engineer status and registering with an industry professional body.

Design and development engineers will design and simulate the next generation of space platforms.  As space is such a difficult environment to work in all of the structures have to be carefully designed and simulated down on earth before it is built and launched.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at a local school or college

  • Maths, Sciences A-levels
  • Engineering and Manufacturing T-Level 

Find a local provider

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at a local provider

Search for a degree course

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 2-3 Engineering Apprenticeship 
  • Level 4 Engineering Manufacturing Technician
  • Materials Science Technologist Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Space Systems Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Materials Process Engineer Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship

Search for apprenticeship vacancies

Employers in the South West 

  • Thales Alenia Space
  • Frazer Nash Consulting
  • National Composites Centre 
  • Rolls Royce
  • GKN
  • GE Aviation
  • Moog
  • Jacobs
  • Airbus
  • Universities of Bristol, Bath and West of England (UWE)
  • SpaceForge
  • BAE Systems
  • Ministry of Defence

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • persistence and determination
  • maths skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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