Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are dollar-for-dollar tax savings for companies that develop new or improved business components. Businesses must report the job titles of everyone involved in R&D to successfully claim tax credits. Here are some job titles companies can use to increase their chances of a successful claim.

Designers: Some businesses may be unaware that designing activities qualify as R&D. By nature, designers must constantly iterate on their designs. Designers perform several functions that encourage innovation, including designing new products, refining existing structures, and testing new methods. Designing new business components meets the IRS four-part test of uncertainty, experimentation, qualified purpose, and being technologically oriented.

Engineers: Engineers are responsible for creating new products or services and implementing them, making it likely that their work will help a business qualify for R&D tax credits. Typical R&D activities for engineers include CAD modeling, determining alternate structural designs, making products more environmentally friendly, and information modeling.

Scientists: If a company is in the sciences, many activities count as qualified research activities (QRAs), including improving existing products to increase their shelf life and effectiveness and reducing side effects. Additional activities that may qualify are designing new drug delivery systems and conducting clinical trials.

Computer Programmers: Computer programmers perform several activities eligible for R&D tax credits, including coding, programming, beta testing, and more. These activities improve upon existing products and eliminate uncertainty, making them suitable to use for a tax credit claim.

Additional industry-specific job titles can be part of an R&D tax credit claim. Many of these positions are in industries not commonly viewed as having R&D, exemplifying a broad range of job titles that can be used for a claim.  

Industry-Specific Job Titles

Here is a sample of additional titles for other common industries that qualify for R&D tax credits.

Aerospace & Defense

          Aerospace Engineer

          CAD Designer

          Electrical Engineer

          Engineering Manager

          Engineering Director

          Mechanical Engineer

          Project Manager

          Software Engineer

Computer Game Development

          QA Game Testers


          Instructional Designer

Food & Beverage Industry



          Food Technologist


          Risk Analyst

          Risk Manager

          Insurance Software Developer




          Assembly Technician

          Manufacturing Manager

Waste Management

          Waste Treatment Plant Design Engineer

          Sustainability Engineer


          Textile Specialist

          Sample Maker

          Apparel Designer

It is crucial to evaluate the employee’s job responsibilities in addition to the job title. Some R&D contributors may not have job titles typically associated with R&D, but if they perform R&D activities, the activity is eligible to be part of a tax credit claim.

Many more job titles qualify for R&D. To find out if your employees have job titles and responsibilities eligible for R&D tax credits, get in touch with us.