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 | Back to Green Careers
At a Glance
- Inspect, test, and adjust equipment to make sure it works precisely and accurately
- Have a bachelor's degree in engineering
- Work with their hands
- Have good math and spatial skills
- Are good at solving problems
- Earn $82,920 per year (Hawaii median)
Validation engineers design, plan, and test equipment and procedures. They make sure equipment works precisely so that manufacturers can make high quality products.
Validation engineers work with sophisticated equipment, such as medical laboratory machines, and in other fields where precision is very important. They need to be very detail-oriented and have good math, science, and computer science skills. Their work goes beyond testing to see if a machine or process works. They need to make sure processes and machines work to precise standards. They need to understand everything about a process or a particular machine. Validation engineers also must be able to make tiny changes and adjustments to whatever it is they are testing.
Validation engineers also must be good with people. Typically they train others how to use and make minor adjustments to equipment. They often troubleshoot equipment as well. In some cases, validation engineers are in charge of selecting and purchasing equipment.
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. They can also help design and test new green technology. As a result, there will likely be increased demand in the green sector of the economy for validation engineers in the future.
Specific Work Activities
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to validation engineers.
- Analyze test data to determine whether systems or processes have met set criteria. Use data to identify causes of production problems.
- Prepare validation and performance protocols for new or modified manufacturing processes, systems, or equipment.
- Coordinate validation testing with affected departments and personnel.
- Study product characteristics or customer requirements. Confer with management to determine validation objectives and standards.
- Create, enter data into, or maintain databases for tracking validation activities, test results, or validated systems.
- Prepare, maintain, or review documentation such as engineering change notices, schematics, and protocols.
- Resolve problems by modifying testing methods or revising test objectives and standards.
- Prepare detailed reports based on results of validation and qualification tests or reviews of procedures and protocols.
- Identify differences from established product or process standards and provide recommendations for resolving deviations.
- Direct validation activities such as creating protocols or testing.
Common Work Activities
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
- Manufacturing Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Skills and Abilities
Validation engineers need to:
- Understand spoken or written information.
- Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- 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 a task.
- Think of new ideas or original and creative ways to solve problems.
Use Math and Science
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things
- Go back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without becoming confused.
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 by others.
- Usually work as part of a team.
- Are occasionally exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels.
- 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 decisions 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.
- 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 engineersto 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 engineersto be able to:
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- See details of objects that are more than a few feet away.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- 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 statistics.
- 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 to:
- 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:
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.
Specific information about the number of validation engineersin 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 employment is expected for workers in this group through 2018.
Nationally, employment of workers in this group is expected to grow slower than average through 2018.
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.
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.
Helpful High School Courses
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 students graduating in 2011 or 2012. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2013 or later. 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 occupation include:
- 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 taking.
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 of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a remote sensing technologist, you must:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have a bachelor's degree in engineering;
- be curious and detail-oriented;
- have strong analytical skills; and
- be creative.
Education after high school
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 two-year colleges have agreements with the engineering departments at four-year schools. These agreements allow you to take your first two years of courses at the two-year college. Then you move to the university for the last two years. Some liberal arts schools have similar programs to prepare you for engineering schools.
Some jobs require a master's or doctoral degree (Ph.D.). For instance, if you are interested in teaching validation engineering at a college you need a Ph.D. 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.
Related Educational Programs:
- 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.
Additional 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
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Career Information Available on the Internet
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