What does a Principal Design Engineer do?

A Design Engineer interfaces with customers and identifies their needs. A Design Engineer will then work with various departments from network engineers, support and operations to ensure a plan is in motion to improve the customer's experience. A Design Engineer seeks to balance various aspects of the project, from safety to design. Additionally, a Design Engineer researches advanced technology regarding best practices in the field and finds cost-effective solutions.

A Design Engineer is generally located within a large company and work alongside other professionals to meet customer's needs. They usually begin as junior level engineers, and as they advance on their career path within the company will become promoted to the role. A bachelor's degree is required for the position, with many holding degrees in Mechanical Engineering or related engineering field. Individuals with a firm holistic understanding of both the operational and scope aspects of projects tend to excel in this position.

What responsibilities are common for Principal Design Engineer jobs?
  • Analyze current engineering methods used within the company and develop steps and processes to improve
  • Document and monitor requirements needed to institute proposed updates in relation to customer experience
  • Establish a framework for necessary contributions from various departments and facilitate their collaboration
  • Work alongside project management teams to successfully monitor progress and implementation of engineering initiatives
  • Assist other department engineers in creating practical demonstrations of proposed solutions and creating them for other members of the team
  • Account for possible project challenges or constraints and proactively seek to manage challenges
  • Provide detailed specifications for proposed solutions including time and scope involved
  • Define clear goals for all aspects of a project and develop steps for their proper execution
What are the typical qualifications for Principal Design Engineer jobs?
  • Experience developing product design and manufacturing
  • Project development and leadership skills are essential
  • Master's degree in Manufacturing Engineering or Design Engineering preferred
  • Up to date understanding of best practices regarding system security measures
  • Advanced understanding of business analysis techniques and processes
  • Experience with software engineering, customer experience and design architecture
  • Ability to work with various departments to facilitate the orderly execution of a proposed project plan
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with various operating systems
  • Professional work experience reviewing and analyzing prototypes and product modifications
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

Principal Design Engineer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$90,803 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
$59K
Median: $91K
$141K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Principal Design Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Design Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L5
Principal Design Engineer
$90,803/yr
L6
L5

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
0%
2 - 4
18%
5 - 7
42%
8+
40%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Principal Design Engineer Insights

Read what Principal Design Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
P2S Inc.P2S Inc.
Design Engineer
Feb 8, 2021

“Has an amazing group of leaders with a great focus on knowledge and further personal development”

Acuity BrandsAcuity Brands
Design Engineering Intern
Feb 11, 2022

“The engineers I had the chance to work with were really nice and had amazing personalities.”

HardingeHardinge
Design Engineer
Mar 11, 2022

“The rank and file people are awesome and I enjoyed working with all of them.”

Quest GlobalQuest Global
Senior Design Engineer
Apr 20, 2020

“It was good to work with Quest and got good Exposure in Turbine and Turbine Related Concepts.”

Revamp EngineeringRevamp Engineering
Design Engineer
Mar 11, 2021

“The team is communicative and I genuinely enjoy talking with and getting to know my teammates.”

Tata TechnologiesTata Technologies
Design Engineer
Jul 7, 2020

“Not good salary and increment since last 5 yrs.Even no promotion offers to anyone.”

AMSYS Innovative SolutionsAMSYS Innovative Solutions
Telecom Design Engineer
Jan 10, 2022

“Everyone treats each other in a good way and everyone is respectful to each other.”

Godrej & Boyce ManufacturingGodrej & Boyce Manufacturing
Press Tool Designer
May 2, 2022

“years experience than this is the best place to learn the things and search for better opportunity.”

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Principal Design Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of design engineers

Design engineers determine how things are made. The typical day of a design engineer involves testing and making improvements to product designs and manufacturing processes. Design engineers typically use computer-aided design programs (CAD) to develop plans, create models, and test designs. They may follow a product from blueprint to prototype to creation.

Design engineering is an extremely creative career that's ideal for people who like to develop new ideas, explore fresh approaches, and create one-of-a-kind products. The best part about being a design engineer is fleshing out your plans and seeing them turn into solid prototypes.

Working as a design engineer often requires long hours to complete projects. In certain phases of development, this job may require long days and ample overtime. One of the challenges of being a design engineer is that it can become tedious in some stages, and attention to even the smallest details is crucial.

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Principal Design Engineer jobs