Technical product designer (m/f/d)

What do you do as a technical product designer? 

Do you think there’s nothing better than seeing how ideas become reality? As a technical product designer, this is exactly what your day-to-day work revolves around. In mechanical and plant engineering, you provide ideas and design specifications for a wide variety of machines or components. Exactly which components are involved depends on the field in which you specialise after the first year of your apprenticeship. You can choose between specialising in machine and plant design or product design and construction.

But no matter which specialisation you choose: You will combine functionality with attractive design. You will liaise closely with the development and engineering team. Together with them, you will decide, for example, which material is suitable for which component based on the respective properties and requirements. You are also involved in the manufacturing process. You decide where to weld, glue or screw. As soon as everything has been finalised, you carry out tests and simulations to check whether everything works as you imagined and calculated. As soon as the test run has been successfully completed, you will create a precise technical drawing that will serve as a guide for the production team. If you have any questions, you will continue to be available as a contact person. And when production begins, you will soon be holding the result of your ideas in your hands.

These specialisations are available

As a technical product designer specialising in machine and system design, you will not only develop machines, systems and components, but also vehicles and body parts. You create models in the development laboratory and use CAD (computer-aided design) programmes to create 3D models and data sets. The production of the components you design will later be based on these data sets.

If you specialise in product design and construction, you will not only design components and assemblies, but also everyday objects. Here too, you will use CAD programmes to create models and data sets. Your projects will be very varied. If you specialise in this area, you can design vehicles, aircraft, medical technology, furniture and other everyday objects.

Where are you needed?

Technical product design plays a crucial role in the economy. All companies that manufacture complex products rely on the skills of technical product designers. After all, they need people who can develop new things and adapt established products to changing requirements or trends. After all, all companies want their product to sell the best and then they have to keep coming up with something new to outperform the others. This is particularly true for companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. But toolmakers, the automotive sector and the aviation industry also need specialists like you to work out the complex plans for their products and special tools. There is a lot to improve, especially with regard to climate and sustainability: with your training as a technical product designer and the right ideas, you can make a major contribution to environmental protection.

What should you bring with you?

During your training in technical product design, you will learn everything you need for a successful career. However, there are qualities that can make it easier for you to learn the training content. These include a good dose of creativity, which will enable you to translate technical contexts into models and drawings. A talent for drawing doesn’t hurt either. Your future training company will also want you to have an intermediate school-leaving certificate, as creating technical drawings also involves a bit of maths. You may also have to be able to describe your product in English or understand technical documents in English. However, you can also impress your future employer with an internship in a relevant area – whether drawing, manual work or planning – and a strong sense of accuracy and care.

Your apprenticeship at a glance

  • Duration 3.5 years
  • Theory at vocational school, practice in the training company
  • Training content from the calculation of physical quantities and the use of design software to technical drawing and materials science
  • After your training as a technical product designer, you can continue your development in various directions. For example, with a state examination in design specialising in product design. However, technical training specialising in mechanical engineering is also possible. Or you can enrol on a degree programme in design engineering. As you can see, there are no limits to your imagination.

Training period:

3.5 years

Recommended school-leaving qualification:

High school

Average salary:

1st year: € 1,032 to € 1,154
2nd year: € 1,083 to € 1,187
3rd year: € 1,159 to € 1,261
4th year: € 1,238 to € 1,329

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