Product Designer

Job Description

Industrial/product designers create a wide range of items, from everyday products, such as mobile phones, household appliances and cars; to larger items, such as industrial tools, equipment and machinery.

Experience or Education

Most industrial/product designers have a degree, foundation degree or HND in a related subject such as product design. There are many courses in universities and colleges that offer a design element as part of general design or technology studies, which would also be relevant.

In addition to product design, the following degree/HND subjects may be useful:

  • spatial design;
  • 3D design;
  • industrial design.

Courses that include a relevant placement year or those with significant practical design content are particularly helpful. You'll be required to show a portfolio of your design work when applying for jobs so anything that helps to build this up will be useful.

Entry without a degree or HND is extremely unlikely.

A Masters degree or other postgraduate qualification might be an advantage in certain sectors, especially when working with European customers and competitors. Search for postgraduate courses in product design.

Salary and Location

  • Junior designers can expect salaries in the region of $17,000 to $25,000.
  • Designers with significant experience in the role, including team leaders, can make $25,000 to $45,000 a year.
  • Senior product designers can earn up to $60,000 and sometimes even more.

Salary levels vary according to the size and type of employer. Salaries in London are likely to be higher.

Contracting tends to pay higher salaries but is dependent upon the consultant's reputation and client-base, meaning it usually comes later in a designer's career.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Look for job vacancies at:

Professional Organizations

Continuing professional development (CPD) is very important and organisations such as the CSD support this. As well as completing training and courses, which can supply CPD credits, it also worthwhile reading industry press and keeping up with developments in the field. To help with this, see: