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Insights What qualifications do you need to be a design engineer?

Design engineering is a crucial discipline within construction. Typically, a degree is required to be a qualified design engineer, however, it is also possible to gain valuable knowledge and experience by undertaking an apprenticeship. Becoming a design engineer requires hard work, and the discipline is competitive, so it is valuable to have some relevant experience to showcase your ability.

At AtkinsRéalis , and within our brands Atkins and Faithful+Gould, we provide forward-thinking solutions, embrace automation, and engage collaboration across our diverse and astute workforce. Our core focus is providing multidisciplinary engineering, procurement, and construction solutions worldwide. As a global leader, our clients trust us to deliver some of the most prominent projects, and design engineering is just one of many exciting career choices you could embark on with us.

image of a design engineer in a safety hat

What does a design engineer do?

Design engineers are responsible for visualising the possible design solutions for everything from a smartphone to vital infrastructure systems, complying with quality and technical assurance procedures. In the construction industry, the responsibilities of a design engineer may include developing conceptual solutions to problems with detailed designs, assisting in the execution of projects within defined design and cost parameters, and presenting to teams and clients.

The role will vary depending on which speciality a design engineer may choose to focus on, which might be civil, mechanical, or structural engineering. However, in each discipline, a design engineer will use technical skills and expertise in mathematics to create solutions, whilst remaining agile and undertaking continuous research and data collection to ensure their knowledge stays current.

Skills and qualifications needed to be a design engineer

To be a qualified design engineer, a degree in design engineering or a similar discipline, such as civil, mechanical, electrical or chemical engineering, is required. A degree will help you to learn about the different software’s that are used on projects and the processes required to ensure standards are met.

As a design engineer, the willingness and flexibility to embrace new software and tools is key. Useful tools that every design engineer needs include Revit, Civil 3D and InfraWorks, and to set yourself apart from other candidates, a strong working knowledge and some experience of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) will certainly demonstrate your abilities.

In addition to the required formal qualifications to be a design engineer, it is also vital to be skilled in problem-solving, commercial awareness, attention to detail, communication and generally ‘thinking outside the box’. Design engineers work in teams so the ability to collaborate and communicate challenges and opportunities is key.

What does career development look like in design engineering?

Like other engineering disciplines, upon the successful completion of a degree, design engineers can progress their careers by becoming chartered. With growing experience, you can become a senior design engineer and later in your career progress into team leadership, project management, consulting or a management role.

At AtkinsRéalis , we offer the opportunity to work on various projects of various sizes around the world, which helps equip our design engineers with the experience they need to provide professional services whilst progressing their careers.

Design engineering in India

India is home to AtkinsRéalis ’s Global Design Centre’s (GDCs) in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Gurugram. We’re at the heart of the Group’s continual design transformation, pushing efficiencies with innovation, automation, and knowledge sharing. From our GDCs, we provide our worldwide offices with remote design and support on end-to-end projects for our Atkins and Faithful+Gould brands. Projects that our team in India have supported include Hinkley Point and Birmingham New Street in the UK.

Equality, diversity, and Inclusion are at the heart of everything we do and we’re proud of our multi-cultural workplace and inclusive environment. Our progressive environments promote a positive work-life balance and equal opportunities for all, with structured career support for women, just like Smita.

Image of high rise buildings under construction in India

Design your engineering career at AtkinsRéalis

At AtkinsRéalis , we bring together technical powerhouses and cutting-edge innovation to deliver an engineering service like no other. We regularly hire and train India’s top graduates, interns, and apprentices, enabling them to master their skills on major international projects across our markets. Find out more about our professional development offering and where your career at AtkinsRéalis in India can take you here.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to take the next step in building a successful career and want the opportunity to help create a sustainable future, browse our available design engineering roles in APAC today.