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)

£19,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Apprenticeship

You could start by doing a product design and development degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels 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 find out more about careers in product design from Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • discussing what your client wants
  • investigating how existing products work or how services are used
  • developing ideas and making initial sketches or outline plans
  • deciding on suitable materials or resources
  • using computer design software to produce detailed blueprints
  • making samples or working models, known as prototypes
  • testing and refining designs

Working environment

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

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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Supportability Engineer Degree Apprentice 2019

  • Wage : £14,250.00 Annually
  • Location: SG1 2DA

Courses In England

City and Guilds Computer Aided Design (CAD) Level 3

  • Provider: Wirral Met College
  • Start date: 18 September 2019
  • Location: Birkenhead

Computer Aided Design

  • Provider: Solihull College & University Centre
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Smith's Wood

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