Job descriptions and industry overviews

Validation engineer: job description

27 Feb 2024, 15:32

Validation engineers ensure the equipment used in manufacturing is functioning efficiently and safely.

Sticky notes attached to a validation engineer's project board.

Validation engineer : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Validation engineers manage, inspect, calibrate, test and modify the instrumentation, equipment, mechanics and procedures used in manufacturing. A critical aspect of their job is documenting this process so there is evidence that systems are operating safely and efficiently.

Validation engineers can be found in a range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, computer software and pharmaceuticals. This means the role varies depending on your industry and specialism.

Typical duties include:

  • following master validation plans.
  • calibrating and testing equipment, and directing this work.
  • documenting results.
  • building knowledge of products, equipment and systems.
  • preparing compliance reports.
  • making sure work is done within safety guidelines and legislation.
  • developing documentation to support the testing process.
  • resolving testing problems.
  • making adjustments or improvements to equipment and processes based on test results.
  • investigating equipment failures.
  • creating databases to track validation activities.
  • interpreting customer requirements.
  • developing validation schedules.
  • conducting training and overseeing the work of validation technicians.
  • maintaining instrumentation and equipment.
  • keeping up to date on industry standards and regulations.

You may need to work shifts with unsociable hours if the organisation you work for is in constant operation.

Graduate salaries

Salary survey websites suggest that salaries for validation engineers start from around £26,000 – although the average salary in this role is around £42,000.

Earnings will rise with experience. Some validation engineer roles involve working towards chartership .

Typical employers of validation engineers

  • Manufacturers, including the aviation and food industries.
  • Biotechnology labs.
  • Pharmaceutical companies.
  • Government research facilities.

Jobs tend to be advertised specialist recruitment agencies and job sites. You’ll also find them advertised on sector-specific jobs boards.

Qualifications and training required

Not all validation engineers come from an engineering background, although you will need to have studied a STEM subject such as chemistry, biochemistry or electrical, manufacturing or software engineering to enter this profession as a graduate. The most relevant degree subject will vary depending on the industry you’re applying to.

If you’re aiming towards chartership and aren’t taking an integrated masters, consider studying for a masters degree after completing your undergraduate degree. Typically, masters degree programmes will open up opportunities for promotion and the chance to conduct advanced research with experienced engineers. Read our article on engineering postgraduate study to explore your options.

Studying for an accredited MEng degree is also the fastest route to achieving chartered engineer (CEng) status with the Engineering Council. For more information, see our guide to chartership .

Relevant experience, such as lab work, will be essential to your job applications as many employers look for candidates with demonstrated ability to test specialist equipment and document their findings. Many also ask for hands-on experience of the tasks and processes involved in the role. If your degree doesn’t involve a placement, look for opportunities within final-year projects and vacation work.

You may also be able work your way up from a validation technician position or make a lateral move from a scientific role.

If you’re a school leaver, look for apprenticeships in validation engineering, some of which lead to a degree.

Key skills for validation engineers

  • The ability to keep detailed records.
  • Strong maths and IT skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Organisation and time management.
  • The ability to follow processes.

Head to our article on the skills engineering employers seek to continue learning about sought-after traits in graduate engineers.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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