Design Engineering Jobs in Michigan

Last Update: February 23, 2024 | Author: Keegan Dillon

If you enjoy using your creativity and are good at problem-solving, you could be on your way to getting one of the design engineering jobs in Michigan. Being involved with the design development of products means you are constantly experimenting with new concepts that meet quality requirements set by your customers or the business you work for. A great deal of design engineering jobs in Michigan is in the industrial manufacturing industry that supports the mechanical design of Michigan’s automobile manufacturing industry.

Did you know?

Michigan has the highest population of engineers

Automotive design engineer jobs in Michigan.

Michigan has the most significant number of car manufacturing facilities in the country, and these automobile manufacturers hire mechanical engineers and design engineers to work on their design teams. Finding employment at a major automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or automotive tier supplier is relatively easy in Michigan.

Often companies use temporary contract design engineers to help with meeting target deadlines and creating various designs in a short amount of time. This type of design engineer job is a great way to easily increase your wage and quickly gain experience modeling, drafting, and designing products in a very short amount of time.

Types of design engineering jobs in Michigan:

Even though Michigan heavily depends on its automotive industry, the state offers plenty of additional types of mechanical design work. Design engineer jobs in Michigan also include working in the following field:

  • Architecture – Residential or Commercial
  • Contract Mechanical Engineer
  • Recreational or Landscape
  • Roadways
  • Buildings
  • Interior Design
  • Construction Projects – Residential or Commercial
  • Electrical Design
  • Aerospace
  • Contract Design Engineer
  • Industrial Manufacturing

Design Engineer Educational Requirements:

The best way to become one of the many design engineers in Michigan is to pursue a mechanical engineering degree or one of the many types of design engineering degrees the state offers. Students can also look into colleges that offer a 2-year degree that focuses solely on specific areas within design or mechanical engineering.

While studying any computer-aided drafting (CAD), you will use computer modeling that will be used to construct or manufacture a product, learn about materials, and read blueprints or specifications to create your designs.

Design Engineering Universities in Michigan:

If you want to become a design engineer in Michigan, why not check out these colleges and universities below to get your CAD design or product design engineering degree? Many technical colleges and universities in the state offer great degrees in these fields.

design engineering universities in Michigan

Types of Design Engineer Degrees:

You may find that a degree as a product design engineer doesn’t suit your education or career goals. Other educational options could be to pursue a career as a design engineer if you graduate with a degree with one of these other great collegiate choices in Michigan:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Design Engineering Technology
  • Software Engineer
  • CAD Drafting Technology
  • Civil Engineering Drafting
  • Computer Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Electrical Design Engineer

Design Engineer Salaries:

which is why many people choose to live and work in the state. Someone could search for countless job opportunities in the metro-Detroit area anytime. Detroit is the home of the American automobile industry, which means it has plenty of design engineer and mechanical engineer design jobs.

Those with a four-year degree with a major in engineering can expect to find great, high-paying careers throughout the state. Each design engineer position is different, but contract design engineers can earn a higher wage than average salary employees. This is because they usually work overtime and work on the weekend to boost their wages well into the six-figure mark.

Michigan’s average base salary for a design engineer is around $64,500. However, Michigan’s top 13% of senior-level or contract design engineers can earn above $90,000 annually. Below are the average salary percentages design engineers in Michigan earn:

Design Engineer Salary In Michigan

Types of Design Engineering:

As a mechanical engineer or computer-aided drafting (CAD) design engineer in Michigan, you will most likely be involved with the design of the following:

  • Blueprints: The two-dimensional drawing of technical or engineered prints.
  • Manufactured Parts or Components: The product design of a single part.
  • Equipment or Systems: The design of multiple combined components makes one main product.
  • Layouts or Automation Cells: The drawing of building prints where equipment will be placed.
  • Testing Equipment: The validation of new equipment.
  • Fixturing: The design of products that hold parts in locations.
  • Simulation or FEA Analysis: Simulation models are created to provide initial feedback on a design before starting initial prints.

Design CAD Software Programs:

Any design work will require CAD modeling software experience, knowledge, or training using a particular CAD software program. Once you master one CAD software, you can learn multiple types of software much more quickly. A mechanical design engineer must be willing to learn new modeling programs because new software design tools are updated frequently, and software programs can quickly become outdated.

Most companies will use the following 2D or 3D CAD modeling software programs:

  • NX
  • Inventor
  • Catia
  • SolidWorks
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Creo
  • Fusion 360°

Find Design Engineering Jobs in Michigan.

As you have read, you’ve learned that after a quick job search, there are a variety of design engineering jobs in Michigan located around the state. Those living in and around Detroit or the metropolitan area have many employment opportunities to find an engineering job, mainly since numerous automotive manufacturers are there. However, like schools, Michigan has many industries around the state. Depending on the job description and location, you can live almost anywhere in Michigan.

Design Engineering Companies in Michigan

Are you interested in design engineering jobs in Michigan? Check out some of these great companies below where you could work to take your career to the next level.

design engineer companies in Michigan

Remote Design Engineering Jobs in Michigan:

As many jobs transition to the “working from home” format, design engineers have a unique opportunity to be one of the few careers where 100% remote work is possible. Often design engineers only need a computer and the correct software to carry out their job. Design engineering work can usually be done from the comfort of your own home, allowing these engineers to live anywhere if they have internet access and a computer.

Contract Design Engineer Jobs in Michigan:

While engineering work is abundant in Michigan, numerous other design engineering jobs are available around the United States. If living in Michigan interests you, but you’d like to work in other states, maybe working as a contract design engineer is the career path for you!

Working as an engineering contractor is also very common in Michigan, as it is one of the highest-paying jobs in the industry. Many contract design engineers work for one of the various consulting firms in Michigan; however, other options like JOINER Services are available for self-employed engineers to promote themselves on its engineering service platform. 


What is the job outlook for a design engineer in Michigan?

Michigan is famous for its automotive industry, which has been a major contributor for 100 years to the state’s economy. However, the state has been diversifying its economy in recent years, and there are opportunities in other sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, construction, and technology. Michigan is also home to several universities, research institutions, and startups that require design engineers.

Design engineering is growing slower than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of design engineers is projected to grow only 2 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is slower than most occupations. The BLS also reports that Michigan was the highest state for employment of design engineers in 2021, with an estimate of over 12,000 design engineers working in the state.

The job outlook for qualified applicants in Michigan appears favorable, with opportunities in various industries and sectors. However, this market is slowing in Michigan, and there is a lot of competition.

What are the top design industries in Michigan?

Michigan has a thriving design industry, with several sectors driving the state’s economy. Below is a list of some of the top design industries in Michigan:

  • Automotive Design: Michigan is known as the heart of the automotive industry, and this sector employs many designers who work on designing and developing cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
  • Graphic Design: Michigan has a vibrant community of graphic designers who create visual designs for various industries, such as advertising, publishing, and branding.
  • Interior Design: The state is home to several interior design firms that work on designing and decorating commercial and residential spaces.
  • Product Design: Michigan is home to several industrial manufacturing companies that specialize in product design, including the design of consumer goods, medical devices, and industrial equipment.
  • Web Design: With the rise of digital technology, web design has become essential to businesses. Michigan has several web design companies specializing in creating websites and web-based applications.
  • Architecture: Michigan has many architects who design buildings and other structures.
  • System Automation Design: Michigan has many industrial manufacturing companies that must design automation systems, like industrial robot cells, assembly lines, and automation processes.

Is a design engineer a good career choice in Michigan?

Depending on your interests and goals, Michigan can be a good career opportunity for design engineers. As mentioned above, the industry is growing in Michigan but under the national average. Michigan has the most design engineering jobs, but that also brings a lot of competition for job seekers.

Many of Michigan’s colleges and universities offer a design engineering program because of the state’s high demand for this job. A design engineer’s salary in Michigan can be higher than the state average if they are skilled, experienced, and a talented designer. If you enjoy designing and improving products or systems, have a solid technical background, and want to work in a design field with good job prospects, then becoming a design engineer in Michigan is good career advice.

What are the main activities of a design engineer?

Design engineers use their technical expertise and creativity to develop innovative products and systems that meet customer needs and industry standards. Some of these design activities include the following:

  • Research and Analysis: Design engineers research and analyze existing products and systems to identify areas for improvement. They also gather data on customer needs, materials, costs, and safety requirements.
  • Design and Development: They use computer-aided design (CAD) software and other tools to create 2D and 3D models, perform simulations, and test prototypes.
  • Testing and Evaluation: Design engineers test and evaluate prototypes to ensure they meet safety, quality, and performance standards. They use various testing methods to qualify that their design meets specifications.
  • Collaboration: Design engineers collaborate with other engineers, designers, and technicians to develop these products and systems. They may also work with marketing, sales, and production teams to ensure the product meets customer needs and can be manufactured efficiently.
  • Documentation: Design engineers document their design changes and record their test results and other data to ensure they can be easily understood and replicated.

Is a CAD design certificate worth it?

A CAD design certificate can be worth it, depending on your career goals and the specific certificate program. If you want to pursue a career in CAD design, a certificate can help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Employers may view a CAD certificate as a sign of your commitment to the field and ability to use CAD software effectively.

The value of a CAD certificate also depends on the program’s quality. Look for programs that are accredited by recognized organizations and have experienced instructors. You may also want to check if the program covers the specific CAD software relevant to your career goals.

Consider the cost and time commitment of the certificate program compared to other options, such as a degree program or self-study. Some certificate programs can be completed quickly and at a lower cost than a degree program, which can be beneficial if you want to gain new skills quickly. Some companies will even pay for employee training if new software is being introduced to the workforce.

Researching the demand for CAD certificates in your desired industry or job market is essential. While learning new CAD skills by certification is valuable for many industries, some companies may emphasize design engineering degrees or specific software skills more than a certificate.

Why are design engineers important?

Design engineers are vital because they are crucial in developing and improving products and systems across various industries. They are responsible for creating and enhancing products and systems which drive innovation and progress. Designers use their technical expertise and creativity to solve complex problems and develop solutions that meet the required quality and safety design specifications.

Design engineers are responsible for considering the cost and efficiency when developing new products and systems. They seek to reduce costs without compromising quality or safety, which can benefit both the company and the end user. Their work involves technical expertise, creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, making them essential contributors to various industries.

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