Design engineers are trained in a multitude of engineering disciplines, and the industries they work in vary considerably as well. Industries that are involved in the production of mechanical, electrical and software systems have a high demand for design engineers. Another primary field employing design engineers is that of civil engineering, the arena of government-funded public works such as roads, bridges and harbors. Subsets of the civil engineering field for design engineers include architectural engineering and building engineering.
Each of the larger industries that hire design engineers can be broken down into more specific fields as well. For example, a design engineer in the software industry might work on designing software systems for the automobile industry or the medical equipment industry. Design engineers in the mechanical and civil engineering fields might work for a company that specializes in designing naval vessels for a government or harbors where such ships are serviced.
One of the largest employers of design engineers is the international aerospace industry. The diversity of jobs in this industry can range from the structural design of aircraft or spacecraft to the design of their navigational systems, instrumentation or communications systems. This could involve design and engineering work on such products as commercial aircraft, helicopters, military aircraft, satellites, space probes, rockets or robotics systems.
The need for design engineers ranges beyond the highly technical and scientific industries as well. The field of packaging design also requires design engineers, as do architectural firms, companies that manufacturer computer hardware, construction firms and electrical power companies. A myriad of everyday building, electrical, software and mechanical products around the world must first pass through the design engineering process before they are manufactured.
Employers of design engineers tend to list openings on the Internet first by the engineering field itself and then follow with a breakdown of specialization by industry. This is because design engineers are in demand across such a wide range of fields. Though some Internet employment resources for design engineers will list openings on an international scale, most will focus on industries within one country. Such listings often are an array of positions spanning many dozens of different fields of engineering and manufacturing design. Generally, the larger or more complex the product and its components that is being produced by an industry, the more of a demand it has for design engineering in the process.