Top 7 Roles For Engineers

The ‘Top 7 roles for Engineers’ is a list of different roles or jobs you can take up as an Engineer. All Engineers do not perform the same duties and functions. This list does not aim to highlight differences between different types of Engineers such as Mechanical Engineering and Electric Engineering as those differences are based on their subject and not their job. Rather the list focuses on the differences based on the nature of the job between two Engineers who belong to the same field; say the difference between a Mechanical Engineer who works in the Maintenance department and a Mechanical Engineer who works in the Designing department of the same company.  The list is meant to inform you about the various departments and specializations you will be working in as an Engineer, and these specializations/departments are essentially common to all types of Engineering.

Research Engineers

Research is one of the senior – most engineering roles in any organization. Engineers working in this department are responsible for progress. Their main aim is to constantly come up with ways to increase productivity, cut costs and improve product performance. They are responsible for the technological advancements that keep taking place. Research Engineers use their innovative thinking skills and technical knowledge to ensure that the new version of a product is better and more advanced than the previous one. It is one of the most highly paid and respectable Engineering roles, and only the most gifted Engineers get to work in this area.

Research Engineers are constantly looking to come up with ways to produce better and more efficient goods and services. They do this by critically analyzing their previous products and products of their competitors and coming up with ways to improve on their drawbacks. This might include ensuring faster performance, more durability, better designs or additional features. Research Engineers are essential for any organization to ensure that they maintain or even improve their position in the market by coming up with new products that are better than what the competitors are producing. They are always looking at the future and thinking of ways to use new technologies and materials so as to create a platform on the basis of which new and better designs of products can be created. They often work in tandem with Designing Engineers and guide them regarding new methods and materials so that the Designing department can use that information to design better products. They are sometimes given directions by the heads of the organization to find ways to improve quality or reduce costs of an existing product, or to come up with an entirely new product. In short, Research Engineers find ways through which ideas and concepts can be transformed into products. They are found in every type of organization and all types of engineering fields, from Mechanical Engineering to Civil Engineering. A Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Engineering from a reputed institute, along with excellent analytical, innovative and creative skills can ensure your success in this role.

Find out more about what it is like to be Working in the Research and Development Department.


Designers are the Engineers who are involved in coming up with the designs of new products. They use their innovative thinking and technical skills to create new concepts and designs. This is probably one of the most sought after engineering jobs as it involves creativity and freedom to innovate. Designers normally work in tandem with the marketing team of a company to find out about the types of products that the consumers would like to see. On the basis of the research conducted by the marketing team, product designers create designs that are economical and technologically possible.

Find out about the different Careers in Marketing.

They focus on satisfying the demands of the consumers regarding a particular type of product and are sometimes involved in creating a demand for a new product or technology. They have to design the basic structure of these products, their purpose and their working mechanism. Designers are often involved in creating ‘prototypes’ of the product or the service. A prototype is a working sample of the design that demonstrates the basic functions of the product or the service. This prototype is shown to the heads of the company and the clients. Sometimes, changes are made to the prototype by the Designers on the basis of their suggestions. Designers are also involved in giving directions to the production department with regards to the technicalities of the product/service and the specific areas of concern that will need to be attended to during the production process. It is a role that is common to all types of Engineers. A Mechanical Engineer in the designing department will design machines like automobiles, while a Computer Engineer working in the designing department will be involved with designing hardware and software for computers. More often than not, the most gifted and technically qualified Engineers work in this department.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Designing Industry.

Find out about other Careers in Design.


One of the most important posts in any company for an Engineer is the ‘Manager’ of the project. It is one of the senior most positions and a Manager is responsible for all the different aspects of the project, including Design, Production, Operations and Maintenance. Managers are required to perform a variety of very important tasks including coordinating between different departments, accomplishing organizational goals and objectives, approving designs and suggesting changes, recruiting and training employees, preparing budgets and implementing safety procedures and company policies. They are vital to the performance of a company and ensure that the project is completed smoothly.

Find out about the Top 7 Careers for Managers.

Engineering Managers are people who have managerial qualities apart from having a strong knowledge base in the technical field of Engineering. They are responsible for ensuring that the costs remain at the minimum and the profit margin remains at an all time high. They are often involved in pitching proposals and delivering project reports to the company heads and clients. Managers are very essential as they form a vital link between the different departments of an organization, and have the exclusive set of skills required to manage the production of technical goods or services that include technical knowledge as well as managerial abilities. They give directions and suggestions to the various departments including the designers, the production, the operations and the maintenance. They ensure that each employee performs up to his/her potential. Managers are responsible for entire project, and have to make sure that all the resources are used effectively so as to maximize productivity. This one of the most sought after jobs in today’s world as it provides one with a lot of responsibility, authority, respect and money. However, becoming an Engineering Manager in a big company would usually require you to start off with working in other roles in a particular department and then move up the ladder. An Engineering degree along with an M.B.A can help speed up your progress.

Find out about other Careers in Management.

Production / Building Engineers

Engineers working in the Production departments of a company are primarily involved in the manufacturing of the product or service. Engineers are needed to work in this department as the products that are to be created are complicated in nature and cannot be created by people who do not have the required technical know – how. These Engineers are responsible for ensuring that the products or services are created in the right manner in safe environments. They usually work in factories and have mentally and physically taxing jobs.

Production Engineers work in tandem with the Designers and ensure that their designs are being followed accurately during the production process. They are responsible for the transformation of an engineering idea into a tangible product/service. Their job includes supervising workers and technicians and motivating them to perform. Production Engineers are also involved in testing these products once they are created and ensuring that they match the final prototype. In case of failed quality checks, Production Engineers find out the cause and look for ways to correct it. A lot of Production Engineers are involved in estimating costs and the time it will take to produce the desired amount of units. They are often involved in dealing with suppliers and ensuring that the costs are minimized without compromising on the quality of the product/service. Production Engineers are also required to create test reports and explain assembly procedure for the product or service. They are also involved in writing technical manuals for the product and maintaining equipment and machinery. Such jobs are applicable to all types of Engineers, especially the ones who work in companies that create products which are directly used by the consumers such as electrical appliances and mobile phones.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the Manufacturing Industry.

Maintenance Engineers

Engineers working in the Maintenance department of an organization are responsible for one of the main aspects of Customer – Servicing, and that is maintenance. Maintenance Engineers are responsible for catering to the needs of the customers and addressing the defects or problems in their products. This is applicable to most products, especially automobiles and electrical appliances. Even though they do not deal with customers directly, it is a part of their job to diagnose the defect and solve the problem. Even though this is normally not a very high profile job, it is extremely beneficial for gaining experience and technical knowledge as well as understanding customer psychology. Engineers working in this department have a lot of opportunities to grow and possible even work in the managerial or designing roles.

Maintenance Engineers are responsible for performing a variety of tasks including diagnosing defects, estimating costs of repair and repairing the defect. They stay updated about the latest technological developments and use new technologies for repairs and diagnosis of defects. Their main aim is to ensure that the customers are happy and satisfied with the product performance. Maintenance Engineers are often supported by a large group of repair technicians. They lead the maintenance team and guide each of their employees so as to increase their productivity and get the work done faster. It is a part of their job to write reports about the repairs they perform on machines and products. Maintenance Engineers are involved in performing a very vital function, and that is concerned with giving feedback to the management. As Maintenance Engineers are a part of the only technical department in an organization that works closely with the direct consumers, they are responsible for giving feedback to the management regarding the satisfaction level amongst the consumers and are also involved in reporting about major defects and faults in the products. It is a job that is applicable to almost all types of Engineers and all types of organizations, especially those who are involved in producing consumer goods and services. An Engineering degree from a reputed institute can get you a good job in this field.

Sales Engineers

Sales Engineers use their technical knowledge as well marketing and sales skills to improve the sales of a product. They are found mostly in organizations that create products which are not used by the consumer directly and are rather used in the production of other consumer goods and services. They are responsible for the ensuring that the products (usually machines and equipment) manufactured by the organization are sold to companies and consumers who will benefit from their use. This is a job that requires a large range of skills apart from technical knowledge and can be well paying as well as provides a lot of opportunities for growth. They are essential to an organization because they have the technical knowledge as well as persuasion skills that can be used together to convince the technical staff from other organizations regarding the benefits and quality of the product.

Sales Engineers are involved in persuading clients, companies and other organizations to purchase their products and services. It is a part of their job to convince the client as to how the product will benefit them or the organization. They often search for new clients and customers and use their negotiation and interpersonal skills to develop long term relationships. Sales Engineers negotiate contract terms and prices with clients and organizations. They work towards achieving the sales targets set by the heads of the organization or the Managers. It is a part of their job to provide assistance to the client before and after the sale and work in tandem with the rest of the departments of the organization. They find ways of creating more awareness amongst the clients about the product by highlighting its qualities. Sales Engineers regularly provide feedback to the management regarding customer expectations and satisfaction levels. Even though Sales Engineers are found in all types of organizations, their job is more important in organizations that create products like hardware components of computers, automobile parts, manufacturing machinery etc. A Bachelor’s degree in Engineering along with an ability to persuade and market the product can take you a long way in this career.

Find out about other Careers in Sales.

Software Engineers

The whole world is moving towards creating ‘smart’ products. Consumers want to see products that offer maximum flexibility in their controls and functions. This demand is being catered to by creating products that use artificial intelligence and offer a wider range of options compared to their earlier counterparts. This has only been possible due to the massive technological growth in the field of computers and information technology. Today, almost every industry uses information technology and computers in their operations and manufacturing. Computers have made it possible for organizations to use ‘automated’ operational procedures. All such organizations need Software Developers or Software Engineers to write software and program their machinery and products so as to improve the manufacturing procedure as well as the manufactured products and services. They also work for companies that specialize in creating software and operating systems such as Microsoft.

Find out about the Different Careers in the Software Industry.

Software Engineers and Developers are required by almost every organization today. They use their programming skills to design automated production procedures that do not require a lot of human intervention. This helps organizations speed up their production procedures as well as reduce costs. Their job includes designing software that is capable of coordinating the different hardware components of a product and ensuring that all of them work as per the commands of the consumer. For example, in the case of a mobile phone, the introduction of a camera, games, as well as a music player in the same phone has only been possible due to the creation of software that will accommodate all these components and program them in way that they are able to work together. They are also involved in diagnosing defects in existing software and repairing them. Software Engineers or Developers use their skills and services to perform a variety of jobs, including reducing costs, improving quality, providing security and speeding up operations. They study the requirements of a client, and use their programming and coding skills to create exclusive software that will cater to the needs of the client. Their job also includes staying updated about the technological advancements in the field of Information Technology and coming up with new and better software to improve products and operations. They work in almost all industries including manufacturing industries like automobiles, electronics, and software companies like Microsoft and IBM. They also write software for fields like Electric Engineering, Robotics, and Biomedical Engineering etc. A Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Computer/Software Engineering from a reputed institute can help you progress in this well paying and in – demand career.

Find out what it is like to be Working in the IT Industry.


Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.