Research Engineers, also known as research scientists or R&D engineers, are typically tasked with a wide range of roles relating to engineering research. Research Engineers are responsible for performing and analyzing research across various disciplines, working with engineers to conduct complex engineering testing and analyses, designing and implementing new standards, protocols, processes and equipment and providing technical reports and presentations to assist in planning and direction. Research Engineers may also be responsible for developing prototypes, as well as researching and developing new technologies and materials for use in the creation or improvement of products and services. Some research engineers take on a consulting role, providing direction and assistance during the research and development phase of a project.
Research Engineer Education Requirements
The minimum educational requirement for a Research Engineering position is generally a bachelor's degree or higher in an engineering or science discipline. In lieu of a bachelor's degree, some employers may accept a professional engineer license obtained through the National Society of Professional Engineers. Other employers may require a candidate to have completed a master's or doctorate degree program, particularly for advanced research positions. Senior research positions may also require at least five years of previous work experience in an engineering-related role.
Research Engineer Job Market
The job market for a Research Engineer depends in part on the engineer's field of expertise. Statistics indicate that the overall market for Research Engineers is growing steadily, with an expected increase of about four percent over the next decade. Some specialists, such as aerospace or petroleum engineers, can expect a considerably more favorable market. Similar occupations experiencing growth include R&D Petrolium Engineers and Research Assistants.
Research Engineer Salary
As with the job market, the expected salary for a Research Engineer varies significantly by field. In general, however, Research Engineers can expect to make about $92,680 per year according to recent statistics. The lowest 10 percent average $23.63 per hour, while the top 10 percent make around $69.23 per hour.