Overview | Specific
Work Activities | Common Work Activities | Related
Occupations | Skills and Abilities | Working
Conditions | Physical Demands | Knowledge
| Interests | Wages | Current
Employment | Outlook |
Helpful High School Courses | Preparation
| Related Educational Programs | Hiring Practices
| Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration |
Advancement Opportunities | Additional
Sources of Information
- Inspect, test, and adjust equipment to
make sure it works precisely and accurately
- Have good math and spatial skills
- Are good at solving problems
- Work with their hands
- Have a bachelor's degree
- Need a license
- Earn $96,400 per year (Hawaii median)
Validation engineers make sure that instruments and equipment work correctly and accurately. They work with equipment where precision is very important.
Validation engineers help to install new equipment. They take exact measurements and calibrate (or validate) the new equipment to ensure it is working to precise standards. They often train technicians to use the equipment. After equipment is installed, validation engineers troubleshoot if there are any problems with it.
Engineers keep detailed records and provide this information to those who work with the equipment. They need to be very detail-oriented and have good math, science, and computer science skills.
Validation engineers often work in biotechnology and medical fields. The green sector of the economy also requires these specialists to make manufacturing more efficient and to fine tune equipment.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to validation engineers.
- Check test data to see if systems or processes have met set goals. Use data to find the causes of production problems.
- Make tests to validate production methods, systems, or equipment.
- Coordinate validation testing with affected departments and personnel.
- Study products or customer requirements. Talk with companies to set validation goals and standards.
- Use computers to track validation activities, data, or outcomes.
- Write, maintain, or read papers such as production change notices, diagrams, and protocols.
- Fix problems by changing testing methods or adjusting test goals and standards.
- Write reports on validation tests or reviews of processes and methods.
- Find differences between product designs and actual products. Give advice on ways to correct problems.
- Help create new validation tests or processes.
Validation engineers perform the following list
of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Analyze data or information.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Process information.
- Use computers.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Document and record information.
- Explain the meaning of information to others.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Develop and build teams.
- Develop goals and strategies.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Provide advice and consultation to others.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- Industrial Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Validation engineers need
- Understand spoken or written information.
- Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely
to go wrong.
- Develop rules or follow guidelines when arranging
items in a certain order.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing
- Think of new ideas or original and creative
ways to solve problems.
Use Math and Science
People, Time, and Things
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve
- Go back
and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without
Perceive and Visualize
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers,
objects, pictures, or patterns.
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word,
or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Imagine how something will look if it is moved
around or its parts are rearranged.
In a typical work setting, validation engineers:
- Have a medium level of social interaction. They work with other
engineers and workers, but also spend time analyzing test results and making
changes to machines.
- Communicate via e-mail, telephone, or in-person discussions.
They also write letters and memos, but less frequently.
- Are occasionally placed in conflict situations in which others
may become upset or angry.
- Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of coworkers.
- Are somewhat responsible for work outcomes and the work done
- Usually work as part of a team.
Physical Work Conditions
- Are occasionally exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise
- Sometimes wear protective or safety gear.
- Almost always work indoors.
- Sometimes work near others, usually within a few feet.
- Repeat the same physical and mental tasks.
- Must be very exact and accurate when testing
and adjusting equipment.
- Usually do not consult a supervisor before making
a decision or setting tasks and goals.
- Meet strict daily and weekly deadlines. This
makes the work atmosphere somewhat competitive.
- Often make decisions that strongly impact coworkers
and their company.
- Repeat the same physical and mental tasks.
Hours / Travel
- Usually work a standard work week, but overtime
may be common if a deadline is approaching or if equipment is malfunctioning.
Validation engineers frequently:
- Sit for long periods of time.
It is important for validation engineers to
be able to:
- See details of objects that are less than a
few feet away.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand the speech of another person.
It is not as important, but still necessary, for validation engineers to be able to:
- See differences between colors, shades, and
- See details of objects that are more than a
few feet away.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold
the hand steady while moving the arm.
Validation engineers need
knowledge in the following areas:
- Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of how
to build machines, buildings, and other things. Also includes knowledge of
how to use computers, machines, and tools to do work more usefully.
- Production and Processing: Knowledge of how
products are made and supplied.
- Mathematics: Knowledge of the rules and uses
of numbers. Areas of knowledge include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and
- English Language: Knowledge of the meaning,
spelling, and use of the English language.
- Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of computer
hardware and software.
- Design: Knowledge of making and using plans,
blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mechanical: Knowledge of designing, using, and
repairing machines and tools.
- Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of
providing special services to customers based on their needs.
- Administration and Management: Knowledge of
managing the operations of a business, company, or group.
- Clerical: Knowledge of general office work such
as filing and recording information.
Validation engineers are people who tend
- Consider good working conditions important.
They like jobs offering steady employment and good pay. They want employment
that fits their individual work style. They may prefer doing a variety of
tasks, working alone, or being busy all the time.
- Consider achievement important. They like to
see the results of their work and to use their strongest abilities. They like
to get a feeling of accomplishment from their work.
- Consider independence important. They like to
make decisions and try out ideas on their own. They prefer jobs where they
can plan their work with little supervision.
- Consider recognition important. They like to
work in jobs which have opportunities for them to advance, be recognized for
their work, and direct and instruct others. They usually prefer jobs in which
they are looked up to by others.
- Consider support from their employer important.
They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up.
They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
- Have investigative interests. They like work
activities that have to do with ideas and thinking. They like to search for
facts and figure out solutions to problems mentally.
- Have realistic interests. They like work activities
that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like to work
with plants, animals, and physical materials such as wood, tools, and machinery.
They often prefer to work outside.
- Have conventional interests. They like work
activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like
to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line
of authority to follow.
Occupational Interest Codes:
Wage information is not available specifically for validation engineers. However, they are part of the larger group of "engineers, all other."
Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The engineer's level of training, experience, and responsibility also affect wages.
Validation engineers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.
Engineers, all other
The number of validation engineers employed in Hawaii and nationally is not available.
- Engineering firms
- Federal, state, and local government agencies
In Hawaii, outlook information is not available specifically for validation engineers. However, they are included in a larger group of "engineers, all other." Little change in the number of jobs for workers in this group is expected through the year 2020.
Nationally, employment of workers in this group is expected to grow slower than average through 2020.
The table below provides information about the number of workers in this occupation in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.
Much of the job growth for validation engineers will be due to the growing green sector of the economy. Validation engineers will be needed to help make manufacturing more efficient. They will also be needed to help design and test new green technology. Opportunities will be best for engineers with strong mechanical, computing, and communication skills.
Job openings will occur each year as workers leave this occupation or retire.
Engineers, all other
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from our state's graduation requirements. Click here for public school graduation requirements for the Class of 2014 and 2015. Click here for the graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond.
If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation
requirements. Validation engineers use math and science frequently. Try to take math classes through Trigonometry and science classes through Physics.
You should also consider
taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement
(AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your
school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for
them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this
- Blueprint Reading
- Computer Applications
- Computer Science
- Introduction to Mechanics
The courses listed above
are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already
done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering
You should also check with
a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available
in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing,
internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to
help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some
hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating
in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself.
Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Click here for examples
and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a validation engineer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have a bachelor's degree in engineering; and
- have a license.
Most students prepare for this field by earning a bachelor's degree in engineering. While there are some specific validation engineering programs, most students study for this occupation by getting a degree in mechanical or industrial engineering. Many four-year colleges and universities offer these programs of study. You may need between four and five years to complete this program.
Some jobs require a master's or doctoral degree (PhD.). For instance, if you are interested in teaching validation engineering at a college you need a PhD. Also, many student engineers go to graduate school to specialize in an area of validation engineering.
Consider participating in an internship with an engineering firm while you are in college. An internship offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.
In general, validation engineers receive one to six months of on-the-job training. New graduates work under the guidance of experienced engineers. In large companies, you may also receive formal classroom training. As you gain knowledge and experience you have greater independence and work on more difficult tasks.
- Engineering Technologies
Most employers require that validation engineers have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering. Some employers prefer people who have experience in quality control. Employers also look for people with strong communication and mechanical skills. Certification or licensing may also be required.
Beginning validation engineers start by performing basic tests and calibrations. Advancing to more complex precision inspecting and validation usually takes experience and perhaps more training, often paid for by the employer.
Advancement for validation engineers often is in the form of higher pay. Experienced engineers may move to management or supervisory positions.
Sources of Information
- "Occupational Outlook Handbook" (Free on the
Internet or $23.00 paper cover/$39.00 hard cover to purchase; p. 142)
Publication Date: 2010-2011
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Select "SCM Careers" from the top menu bar.
Available on the Internet
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LMI Innovation Grant, Research and Statistics Office, Department of Labor &
Industrial Relations, State of Hawaii. All Rights Reserved.