Product Designer Salary
Job Description for Product Designer
Product designers are responsible for designing and developing the majority of the consumer products that people use in their everyday lives. All industries that manufacture consumer products employ product designers. For example, product designers work in electronics, furniture design, general manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, and many other fields. More specialized fields include medical technology and telecommunications device manufacturing. While many product designers work to meet consumer needs with completely new products, many of the product designers' job responsibilities involve improving existing designs. Design improvement may be needed for a variety of reasons, such as improvement of functionality, improvement of appearance, and manufacturing cost reductions.Read More...
Often, product designers work as members of multidisciplinary teams that include engineers, prototype fabricators, executive sales staff members, marketing and advertising team members, and others. As part of the design process, product designers employ a variety of technologies, including computer assisted design (CAD), drawings and blueprints, and 3D modeling. Product designers must have working knowledge of these technologies, as well as manufacturing methods, available materials, and budgetary and time considerations.
Product designers usually work full time in an office environment. They may be freelance workers who contract with companies or full-time employees. In addition to working in offices, product designers make frequent use of workshops, studios, and even factory space to aid the design process. Additional responsibilities include meeting with customers or co-workers to discuss designs and commercial needs, working as part of the design team, learning about new manufacturing technologies and materials, researching products and how to improve them, producing models or drawings, and working with engineers to produce prototypes.
Most employers require their product designers to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and relevant work experience is generally preferred.
Product Designer Tasks
- Create design concepts, sketches, drawings, and illustrations, and determine the best presentation strategies.
- Research and remain up-to-date on current market trends.
- Coordinate artists or layout designers to ensure accurate design communication and efficiency.
- Modify or revise designs to meet customer needs or production limitations.
Common Career Paths for Product Designer
Product Designers' salaries tend to stay somewhat constant even when they advance into higher-level positions like Product Development Manager. On average, Product Development Managers get paid about the same as Product Designers do. A lot of Product Designers advance their careers by becoming Industrial Designers and Design Engineers. However, those positions offer $21K less and $9K less per year on average.
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Popular Skills for Product Designer
Product Designers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Cascading Style Sheets, Interaction Design, and User Research are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 30 percent, 24 percent, and 23 percent, respectively. Those listing SolidWorks as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Computer Aided Design and Product Development also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Adobe Illustrator indicates knowledge of Design and Product Development.
Pay by Experience Level for Product Designer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $72K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $82K. For Product Designers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $73K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $69K.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 38 percent, Product Designers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Product Designers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Atlanta (+25 percent), Palo Alto (+19 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Denver (+11 percent). Product Designers in Philadelphia take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 41 percent less than the national average. Dallas and Portland are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 31 percent less than the median.
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