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PCB Designer

A PCB designer is a technical professional who uses computer software programs to design the layout for circuit boards and collaborates with engineers to create 3D models of circuit boards. They develop PCB design guidelines and draft plans for manufacturers that include schematics, assembly, and fabrication drawings. 

These designers also identify and resolve mechanical design issues and draft layouts for standard and dense, hi-speed, multi-layer boards. They also perform required revisions and designs based on the specifications of customers and engineers and use AutoCAD software to design schematics for the PCB systems.

PCB Designer

What does a PCB Designer do?

PCB Designer

A printed circuit board design engineer oversees the creation of printed circuit boards (PCB) used in phones, computers, and most other electronic devices. As a PCB designer, your responsibilities include designing the layout of the unit to incorporate the appropriate components, making recommendations to improve existing designs, and overseeing the actual manufacturing of these products to ensure they meet industry and company standards. These boards are the backbone of modern-day electronics, acting as the central unit of anything that runs on a microchip or CPU. You must design the board in such a way that it meets the specific needs of each product. 

These designers must design and implement various circuit boards and perform revisions to apply changes that are based on the specifications of customers and engineers. They need to collaborate with the companies that fabricate and assemble PCBs to discuss the quality, cost-effective, and timely deliveries of PCBs. PCB designers must also use AutoCAD software to design schematics for the PCB systems.

  • PCB Knowledge

    Have essential PCB knowledge about the terminologies that comprise a PCB, the tools and technology used to create these boards and basic design principles.

  • Mechanical Design

    PCB designers work to develop 3D or mechanical models of electronic circuit boards. Hence, knowledge of mechanical design, including its scientific and technical aspects, is important for them.

  • PCB Design Software

    PCB designers use various types of design software, such as EAGLE, Altium and Protel. Having expert knowledge of at least one design software can help them perform their daily duties effectively.

  • Communication Skills

    PCB designers are excellent communicators who work with a team of other designers and engineers to perform their duties successfully.



PCB designers earn an average yearly salary of $91,000


Starting-level PCB designers earnings begin at:

$29 per hour
$61,000 per year

Senior-level PCB designers earnings begin at:

$53 per hour
$111,000 per year

Mid-level PCB designers earnings begin at:

$44 per hour
$91,033 per year

Top-level PCB designers earnings begin at:

$64 per hour
$134,000 per year

Junior-level PCB designers earnings begin at:

$36 per hour
$74,000 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for an PCB Designer look like?

Most PCB designers work in air-conditioned offices or laboratories and have access to the latest computer-aided design (CAD) software. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although overtime may be required to meet deadlines.

PCB designers may work on teams with other designers, engineers, and technicians, or they may work independently. They may also interact with clients to discuss the design of the PCB and make revisions based on feedback. PCB designers must be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines while ensuring that the quality of their work is high.

How to Become a PCB Designer?

PCB Designer

Many PCB designers do not necessarily have an advanced degree in any specific field. However, PCB designers most often have a degree or certification in an area that includes drafting, computer-aided design, electronic design, hands-on printed circuit board work, or other related areas. 

Employers looking for PCB designers generally accept candidates with several years of relevant job experience and career training instead of formal education. However, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a similar field of study can help your resumé stand out for other candidates. Other qualifications include the ability to understand electronic engineering blueprints, verbal and written communication skills, and outstanding analytical skills. This position also requires specific knowledge of the various software and design tools the company uses. The ability to work as part of a team is also a must, and leadership skills can come in handy when communicating with your team.

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