A Product Designer designs products that people use in their daily lives; from mobile phone and personal computers to the development of industrial and specialist equipment.
Their key responsibilities include coming up with new design ideas, drawing sketches, producing and testing prototypes and coordinating with engineering teams to make changes to existing products or to develop new ones. Designers make sure that the products that are brought to the market are user-friendly, functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Professionals working in these roles are primarily employed in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
The working hours within this role are typically 9-to-5, Monday – Friday. However, individuals working in this role are often expected to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and may be required to work extra hours in busy times in order to meet tight deadlines.
Product designers are often based in offices, studios or workshops, commonly within close proximity to the production site. They will spend a considerable time in the factory where their product is being made, working closely with manufacturing and engineering professionals.
Junior designers starting salary tends to range between £18,000 and £25,000, depending on the location and the size of the organization.
More experienced designers can earn up to and in excess of £45,000, depending on their previous work experience, skills and portfolio.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
In the current competitive market, employers expect applicants to hold at least a foundation or full degree in a design-related subject, including in Product Design, 3D Design or Product Engineering.
Many employers also expect to see some form of previous work experience and/or portfolio that can showcase the applicant’s skills and abilities.
Any additional qualifications or voluntary work experience will support a strong application.
Job progression is possible within large companies, with individuals being given the opportunity to head teams and work on large design and/or production projects.
Many also choose to become self-employed, giving them the opportunity to become their own boss. This comes with its own risks, including the lack of regular work, running one’s own business, and marketing one’s own products and services to attract clients and contracts.
According to government statistics, jobs in this and closely-related roles are projected to grow by 5.3% over the period to 2024 (Source: LMI for All).
Charted Society of Designers