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Product designer

Alternative titles for this job include Industrial designer, 3D designer, prototype designer, inventor

Product designers create new products and improve existing ones.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a product designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to get into this career. Useful subjects include:

  • design
  • product design
  • industrial product design
  • engineering

You could also do a course covering a particular industry, which has design options. Examples include automotive engineering and furniture design.

Getting work experience during your studies can improve your job prospects.

Your university careers service can help you to find suitable placements, internships and year in industry opportunities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do an engineering product design and development degree apprenticeship.

This typically takes 60 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and academic study at an approved university.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information

More Information

Career tips

Entering design competitions and exhibitions can be a good way of getting yourself noticed by employers.

You'll need to show employers that you have creative skills, technical knowledge and the ability to work to a design brief. This will usually involve presenting a portfolio of your design work to them.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Chartered Society of Designers for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • understanding of technology, materials and manufacturing methods
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • discuss what your client wants
  • investigate how existing products work or how services are used
  • develop ideas and make initial sketches or outline plans
  • decide on suitable materials or resources
  • use computer design software to produce detailed blueprints
  • make samples or working models, known as prototypes
  • test and refine designs

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, in a creative studio or in an office.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior designer, then creative director.

You could also move into project management or design management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Electrical Engineering Degree Apprentice 2022

  • Wage: £14,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Certificate in Computer Aided Design Level 2

  • Provider: RNN GROUP
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Worksop

Certificate in Computer Aided Design Level 2

  • Provider: BOSTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 11 January 2022
  • Location: Boston

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