Career Development

What Does a Technical Engineer Do?

Find out what a technical engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a technical engineer.

Technical engineers are responsible for the design and development of new products. They work with a variety of different materials, from metals to plastics to electronics, to create innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Technical engineers must be able to think creatively and independently. They often come up with their own designs for new products or improvements on existing ones. These designs may then be passed along to other engineers who specialize in manufacturing or production to bring them to life.

Technical Engineer Job Duties

A technical engineer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing new technologies and applications for existing technology
  • Conducting research on new technologies and applications to identify potential problems or opportunities for improvement
  • Designing, developing, and testing prototypes of new products or systems using computer-aided design (CAD) tools or other specialized software
  • Implementing new designs or technologies to meet organizational goals, such as improving efficiency or reducing costs
  • Consulting with management to identify staff training needs to ensure that employees can effectively use new technologies
  • Performing feasibility studies to determine if a proposed project is viable or if further development is needed
  • Developing test plans and conducting tests to ensure that products meet industry standards for performance
  • Evaluating design proposals to ensure that they meet industry standards for safety and ergonomics
  • Analyzing data from various sources to collect and report information about product performance

Technical Engineer Salary & Outlook

Technical engineers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $162,000 ($77.88/hour)

The employment of technical engineers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by an increase in automation, which can allow fewer technical engineers to do more work. However, because many engineering tasks require human judgment, technical engineers will continue to be needed to monitor and adjust equipment and processes controlled by automated systems.

Related: In-Depth Technical Engineer Salary Guide

Technical Engineer Job Requirements

A technical engineer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Technical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, engineering technology or a related field. Some of the most common majors for technical engineers are aerospace, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, mechanical and software engineering.

Training & Experience: Technical engineers typically receive on-the-job training once they are hired. This training may include learning the company’s specific policies and procedures, as well as how to use the company’s equipment and software. The training may last for a few weeks or months, depending on the company’s needs.

Certifications & Licenses: Though certifications are not required to qualify for this role, they can offer proof of the technical skills needed for this position and demonstrate your commitment to excellence. Certifications can also allow you to apply for more advanced positions.

Technical Engineer Skills

Technical engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the knowledge and experience you have in your field. Having technical skills can help you learn and grow in your career as an engineer. Technical skills can help you solve problems, develop new ideas and create innovative solutions.

Communication skills: Technical engineers communicate with a variety of people, including other engineers, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. They also communicate with people from a variety of backgrounds, so it’s important for them to be able to explain technical concepts in a way that everyone can understand.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for technical engineers because they often find themselves in situations where they need to find solutions to technical problems. This can include finding the source of an issue, devising a solution and implementing it.

Critical thinking skills: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and find the best solution. Technical engineers use critical thinking skills to solve problems and develop new products. They may use critical thinking skills to troubleshoot issues with a product or system, find the root cause of an issue and develop a solution.

Project management: Project management skills allow you to organize and oversee the completion of technical projects. This can include planning, scheduling, budgeting and overseeing the work of other technicians. Having strong project management skills can help you advance in your career and earn promotions.

Technical Engineer Work Environment

Technical engineers work in a variety of settings, including office buildings, factories, power plants, and construction sites. They may be exposed to noise, dust, and hazardous materials, and they may work in uncomfortable or cramped positions. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines. Some travel may be required, particularly for those who work in sales or who provide technical support to customers.

Technical Engineer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how technical engineers work. Technical engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of technology. As technology becomes more complex, businesses are increasingly looking to hire technical engineers who can help them to understand and manage it.

As the need for more technical talent grows, Technical Engineers will be in high demand. This means that they will need to be able to not only understand the latest technologies, but also how to use them to solve real-world problems.

More Automation

As automation becomes more common in manufacturing plants, Technical Engineers will need to learn how to work with robots and other automated systems.

This trend will require Technical Engineers to be well-versed in the programming languages used to control these systems. They will also need to be able to troubleshoot any issues that may arise with these systems. In addition, Technical Engineers will need to be able to design and build automated systems that meet the needs of their customers.

Greater Focus on Quality Control

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for quality control has increased. This is especially true for companies that produce hardware or software, as poor quality products can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and business reputation.

Technical engineers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in quality control. By doing so, they can help ensure that products are meeting the standards set by the company and that any defects are caught before they reach the market.

How to Become a Technical Engineer

There are many different paths you can take as an engineer. You could specialize in a particular field, such as civil engineering or mechanical engineering. Or you could choose to become a generalist, with knowledge of many different areas of engineering.

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in your field. Read journals and attend conferences to learn about new technologies and techniques. Network with other engineers to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects.

Related: How to Write a Technical Engineer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Technical engineers typically start their careers in entry-level positions and advance to positions of greater responsibility as they gain experience. Some may eventually move into management positions, such as project manager, engineering manager, or product development manager.

Many technical engineers eventually become consultants, working either for themselves or for firms that provide consulting services. Some technical engineers open their own engineering firms.

Those who wish to move into management or executive positions may find that an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), is helpful. Many technical engineering positions now require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions require a master’s degree.

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