Product Designer Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Product Designer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Product Designer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Product Designer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How To Become a Product Designer

A product designer oversees the design of a product from start to finish or the improvement of an existing product. If you have a passion for creativity and work well with others, you might work well as a product designer. In this article, we cover what steps you should take to become a product designer.
Contents

1

Earn a degree.

The most traditional way to start a career as a product designer is to earn a bachelor's degree in product design. This degree covers business, marketing, sales, graphic design, engineering, and visual design. You will learn about typography, layout, and how to communicate your ideas. Most of these programs will also give you the tools needed to learn how to give and receive feedback on your work, which is vital in this industry. Also, these programs might include a year of work experience where you can help design real products.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Product Designer?

95% of people working as a Product Designer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Product Designer?

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • UX Design
  • Wireframes
  • Indesign
  • UI UX
  • User Interface
  • Iterative Design
  • Agile Software Development
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Product Designer in the United States.

2

Build a strong portfolio.

A portfolio can highlight what you can do as a product designer. A solid portfolio should house several examples of your work and show the steps you took. You should be able to explain your workflow and the processes for these projects and demonstrate how you operate. These projects, whether they're actual products you've created or simple interface designs, should look professional and solve a real problem. You can even use real products you worked on via internship programs or through your undergraduate degree program.

3

Expand your network.

Speak with experts in your field whenever possible, since you never know when an industry contact might assist in finding you a job. Most product designers are willing to share ideas. Also, bring some business cards to share with potential contacts. Through these contacts, you might be able to secure an internship or even an entry-level job as a product designer. Even internships might lead to employment, so never turn down an opportunity to connect with someone in the industry.

4

Practice product design.

When it comes to product design, a great way to hone your craft is to apply all your knowledge to a new design. Find a problem and try to solve it. In addition, think about your favorite products and how you can make them better. Whenever you feel inspired, sketch out your design. Create prototypes and get feedback from your friends and design peers about your ideas. Make revisions, and keep working on the ideas. Browse through design blogs, and brush up on your design history to perfect your craft. With the right combination of passion, talent, and practice, you can quickly become an expert.

5

Become proficient in specific computer programs.

Since this is a rapidly changing field, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest technology features that relate to digital and visual design. One way to do this is to become proficient in computer programs including:

  • After Effects.
  • AutoCAD.
  • Flash.
  • Illustrator.
  • InDesign.
  • Photoshop.
  • Premiere Pro.
  • Solidworks.

You should also make yourself familiar with Dreamweaver, CSS, and HTML. Other programs that will help you become a better product designer include UI design and UX drawing programs.

Seniority Levels

L2

Product Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
£43,483 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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41% advanced to

L3

Senior Product Designer

2 - 4Years of Experience
£62,500 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

L4

Lead Product Designer

5 - 7Years of Experience
£68,151 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Salary Trajectory

Product Designer Career Path

£120K
£98K
£75K
£53K
£30K
L2
L4
L7
L9
Seniority Levels

Related careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Product Designer skills. Discover some of the most common Product Designer career transitions, along with skills overlap.