Design engineers work as the core team member of projects and it is natural that they would gather good amount of specialized knowledge in their domain as they need to know the part or product they are designing from head to tail.
Design engineers can generally move onto roles of Engineering manager or engineering head.
Engineering manager – They are a mix between technical and managerial aspect of product development and hence the design engineer needs to have sufficient all-round knowledge as well as decent managerial ability to move into this role.
Engineering head – This is a technical specialists role with a strong domain knowledge of specific product or maybe a specific design aspect of the product.
Both roles are very prestigious in any automobile company and provide very good growth prospects even further up the corporate ladder.
Design engineers due to nature of work are required to be the knowledge bases in the company and since everything is governed by design, their value grows incrementally with every successful product launch.