Product development engineering technicians improve efficiency of product development, set up equipment and develop and test solutions to solve technical problems. They work closely with engineers and technologists, inspect products, conduct tests and collect data.
Product development engineering technicians typically perform the following duties:
- Collaborate with product development teams to understand design requirements and specifications
- Assist in the creation of 2D and 3D product drawings and models using computer-aided design (CAD) software
- Construct prototypes and mock-ups of new products, considering materials, manufacturing processes, and assembly techniques
- Conduct testing and evaluation of prototypes to assess their functionality, performance, and compliance with design specifications
- Document and analyze test results, identifying areas for improvement and suggesting design modifications
- Assist in the selection of appropriate materials, components, and manufacturing methods for product development
- Collaborate with suppliers and vendors to source and procure materials, parts, and equipment needed for prototyping and testing
- Support engineering teams in the development and implementation of product design improvements and cost reduction initiatives
- Maintain accurate records and documentation related to product development processes, including drawings, specifications, and test reports
- Assist in the preparation of technical reports, presentations, and documentation for internal and external stakeholders
The following job titles also refer to product development engineering technician:
product development scientist
product development engineer
product development conservation engineer
product development equipment engineer
product development test engineer
product development mechanical engineer
product development research engineer
product development research engineer
product development consultant engineer
product development specialist
product development systems engineer
production test operator
product development automation engineer
product development electrical engineer
Product development engineering technicians typically work in office or laboratory settings, depending on the nature of the projects. They may spend time in workshops or production areas for prototyping and testing purposes. The work may involve working with various tools, equipment, and computer software for design and analysis. They may need to collaborate with cross-functional teams and participate in meetings to discuss project progress and requirements. Safety precautions should be followed when working with machinery or handling materials.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for a product development engineering technician position. Some employers may prefer candidates with an associate degree or post-secondary education in engineering technology or a related field. Proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software and knowledge of engineering principles are important. Strong technical skills and hands-on experience with prototyping tools and equipment are beneficial. Good communication and teamwork skills are necessary to collaborate effectively with engineers, designers, and other stakeholders. Prior experience in product development or engineering support roles is advantageous.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Product development engineering technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Product development engineering technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to product development engineering technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of product development engineering technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of product development engineering technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of product development engineering technician.
- Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
- Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
- Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
- CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
- Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of product development engineering technician.
- Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
- Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
- Analyse test data: Interpret and analyse data collected during testing in order to formulate conclusions, new insights or solutions.
- Provide advice to technicians: Offer help and advice to service technicians in case of machine malfunctions and other repair tasks.
- Collaborate with engineers: Work closely and communicate with engineers on designs or new products.
- Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
- Develop product design: Convert market requirements into product design and development.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of product development engineering technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Production processes: Materials and techniques required in the production and distribution processes.
- Manufacturing processes: The steps required through which a material is transformed into a product, its development and full-scale manufacturing.
- Blueprints: Must be able to read and understand blueprints, drawings and plans and maintain simple written records.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of product development engineering technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
- Use computer-aided engineering systems: Use computer-aided engineering software to conduct stress analyses on engineering designs.
- Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
- Analyse stress resistance of products: Analyse the ability of products to endure stress imposed by temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors, by using mathematical formulas and computer simulations.
- Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
- Plan manufacturing processes: Determine and schedule production and assembly steps. Plan manpower and equipment needs taking ergonomic considerations into account.
- Write stress analysis reports: Write down a report with all your findings encountered during the stress analysis. Write down performances, failures and other conclusions.
- Analyse stress resistance of materials: Analyse the ability of materials to endure stress imposed by temperature, loads, motion, vibration, and other factors using mathematical formulae and computer simulations.
- Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
- Assess operating cost: Estimate the operating cost in terms of manpower, consumables and maintenance.
- Collaborate with designers: Communicate and collaborate with fellow designers in order to coordinate new products and designs.
- Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
ISCO group and title
3119 – Physical and engineering science technicians not elsewhere classified
- Product development engineering technician – ESCO
- Product Development Engineer Job Description – Betterteam
- Featured image: Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash