A new product development engineer designs and tests new products. This job may also involve modifying and maintaining products. To become a new product development engineer, you will typically need a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline such as mechanical or electrical engineering. Earning a degree at a school that is well-known and respected for its engineering programs may give you a boost in landing a job. You can also take advantage of internship programs to land the job you want.
One of the most important steps you will take in your effort to become a new product development engineer is choosing a college at which to study. You may be best served by choosing a college that has an excellent reputation for its engineering department. Employers might be impressed with your graduation from such a school and have more interest in hiring you. Likewise, you may find that some of these schools attract the most skilled professors, which can translate into a better education for you. Additionally, some engineering schools offer job placement services, which may help you land your first job.
You will typically have to major in engineering when you want to become a new product development engineer. In most cases, however, you will have choices when it comes to the type of engineering degree you decide to pursue. Many product engineers come from a mechanical engineering background, but you have other choices available to you as well. For example, you might land this job after earning an electrical engineering job or following graduation from a civil engineering degree program. Though engineering degrees are often required for this job, some employers may also consider candidates with math and science degrees.
The level of degree you need often depends on the type of job you want to pursue in engineering. You can typically obtain an entry-level position as a new product development engineer with a bachelor's degree. Often, however, management-level jobs require a master's degree. If you want to secure a management-level position, earning a master's degree in engineering might help.
Gaining experience while you are still in college can help you land your first job as a new product development engineer. As such, you may do well to secure an internship in the field before you graduate. You can learn a good deal this way and obtain reference contacts you can use when applying for your first job. Sometimes internships even lead to job opportunities upon graduation. Your first job will likely be an entry-level position in this field, and you will probably start out testing and assisting with product development before you start designing and developing on your own.