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Become A Senior Product Designer

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Working As A Senior Product Designer

  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $119,021

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Product Designer Do

Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and the usability of products when developing new product concepts.

Duties

Industrial designers typically do the following:

  • Consult with clients to determine requirements for designs
  • Research the various ways a particular product might be used, and who will use it
  • Sketch out ideas or create renderings, which are images on paper or on a computer that provide a better visual of design ideas
  • Use computer software to develop virtual models of different designs
  • Create physical prototypes of their designs
  • Examine materials and manufacturing requirements to determine production costs
  • Work with other specialists such as mechanical engineers or manufacturers to evaluate whether their design concepts will fill needs at a reasonable cost
  • Evaluate product safety, appearance, and function to determine if a design is practical
  • Present designs and demonstrate prototypes to clients for approval

Some industrial designers focus on a particular product category. For example, some design medical equipment, or work on consumer electronics products, such as computers and smart phones. Other designers develop ideas for other products such as new bicycles, furniture, housewares, and snowboards. Self-employed designers have more flexibility in the product categories they work on. Designers who work for manufacturers help create the look and feel of a brand through their designs.

Industrial designers imagine how consumers might use a product and test different designs with consumers to see how each design looks and works. Industrial designers often work with engineers, production experts, and market research analysts to find out if their designs are feasible. They apply the input from their colleagues’ professional expertise to further develop their designs. For example, industrial designers may work with market research analysts to develop plans to market new product designs to consumers.

Computers are a major tool for industrial designers. They use two-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software to sketch ideas, because computers make it easy to make changes and show alternatives. Three-dimensional CAD software is increasingly being used by industrial designers as a tool to transform their two-dimensional designs into models with the help of three-dimensional printers. If they work for manufacturers, they also may use computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software to create specific machine-readable instructions that tell other machines exactly how to build the product.

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How To Become A Senior Product Designer

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs. It is also important for industrial designers to have an electronic portfolio with examples of their best design projects.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs. Most industrial design programs include courses that industrial designers need in design: drawing, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), and three-dimensional modeling. Most programs will also include courses in business, industrial materials and processes, and manufacturing methods that industrial designers need when developing their design.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Many schools require successful completion of some basic art and design courses before entry into a bachelor’s degree program. Applicants also may need to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs by collecting examples of their designs from classroom projects, internships, or other experiences. Students can use these examples of their work to demonstrate their design skills when applying for jobs and bidding on contracts for work.

Some designers have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree which helps further develop a designer’s business skills. These skills help designers understand how to fit their designs to meet the cost limitations a firm may have for the production of a given product.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Industrial designers use logic or reasoning skills to study consumers and recognize the need for new products.

Artistic ability. Industrial designers sketch their initial design ideas, which are used later to create prototypes. As such, designers must be able to express their design through illustration.

Computer skills. Industrial designers use computer-aided design software to develop their designs and create prototypes.

Creativity. Industrial designers must be innovative in their designs and the ways in which they integrate existing technologies into their new product.

Interpersonal skills. Industrial designers must develop cooperative working relationships with clients and colleagues who specialize in related disciplines.

Mechanical skills. Industrial designers must understand how products are engineered, at least for the types of products that they design.

Problem-solving skills. Industrial designers identify complex design problems such as the need, size, and cost of a product, anticipate production issues, develop alternatives, evaluate options, and implement solutions.

Advancement

Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers. Many teachers continue to consult privately or operate small design studios in addition to teaching. Some experienced designers open their own design firms.

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Senior Product Designer Jobs

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Senior Product Designer Career Paths

Senior Product Designer
Product Design Manager Design Director Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Design Director Senior Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Art Director
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Program Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Global Sales
13 Yearsyrs
Product Design Manager Director Of Product Development Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Purchasing Manager Category Manager
Divisional Merchandise Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Design Engineer Senior Design Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Senior Design Engineer Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Product Development Manager
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Product Design Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Manager Product Developer
Senior Product Developer
8 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Creative Director Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Design Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineering Manager Senior Product Manager
Vice President-Products
13 Yearsyrs
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Senior Product Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

77.0%

Female

20.2%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Asian

9.6%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.7%

Korean

20.0%

Chinese

13.3%

German

6.7%

Japanese

6.7%

Mandarin

6.7%

Cantonese

6.7%

Urdu

6.7%

Italian

6.7%
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Senior Product Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

7.6%

Purdue University

7.6%

Art Center College of Design

6.1%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

Pratt Institute-Main

6.1%

Macomb Community College

6.1%

Oakland Community College

6.1%

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

6.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.5%

Academy of Art University

4.5%

Auburn University

4.5%

Art Institute of California - Inland

4.5%

Wayne State University

4.5%

Iowa State University

4.5%

Lawrence Technological University

4.5%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.5%

Syracuse University

3.0%

Schoolcraft College

3.0%

Miami University

3.0%

Vincennes University

3.0%
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Majors

Graphic Design

31.7%

Drafting And Design

14.9%

Mechanical Engineering

8.8%

Business

8.0%

Fine Arts

6.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Industrial Technology

4.2%

Engineering

3.1%

Design And Visual Communication

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Automotive Technology

1.9%

Engineering Technology

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Finance

1.1%

Photography

1.1%

Computer Science

1.1%

Computer Applications

1.1%

English

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.3%

Other

19.7%

Associate

18.2%

Masters

9.3%

Certificate

6.0%

Diploma

0.6%
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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Product Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Product Designer Zendesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 19, 2016 $163,000
Senior Product Designer Zendesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2016 $163,000
Senior Product Designer Ueno LLC San Francisco, CA May 24, 2016 $160,000
Senior Product Designer Ueno LLC San Francisco, CA May 23, 2016 $160,000
Senior Product Designer Zendesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 28, 2014 $155,000
Senior Product Designer Uber Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2016 $153,608 -
$165,000
Senior Product Designer Versal Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 17, 2013 $150,000
Senior Product Designer Uber Technologies Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 13, 2016 $150,000
Senior Product Designer SHYP Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 14, 2016 $150,000
Senior Product Designer Ca, Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 01, 2013 $134,000
Senior Product Designer Mesosphere, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 19, 2015 $132,000 -
$140,000
Icloud Senior Product Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 10, 2014 $131,269 -
$150,000
SR. Product Designer ETSY, Inc. New York, NY Jul 15, 2015 $130,000
Senior Product Designer Citrix Systems, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 26, 2015 $130,000 -
$140,000
Senior Product Designer Edmodo, Inc. San Mateo, CA Sep 16, 2014 $117,666 -
$141,856
Senior Product Designer Radius Intelligence Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 28, 2015 $117,603
Senior Product Designer Meetup, Inc. New York, NY Jul 27, 2015 $116,000
SR. Product Graphic Designer NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Sep 05, 2015 $116,000
Senior Product Designer Citrix Systems, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 25, 2013 $115,000 -
$125,000
Senior Product Designer Work DPD Inc. New York, NY Sep 23, 2013 $115,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Product Designer

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  1. New Product Development
  2. CAD
  3. Concept
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed engineering design group during period of growth, maintaining efficiency and new product development schedules.
  • Designed and developed a breakaway mechanism which met critical space requirements and salvaged sole supplier status for Cadillac mirrors.
  • Conceptualized and created products for multinational corporations, start-ups, and in-house enterprises.
  • Prepared layouts to verify form, fit, and function of electronic components to engine models.
  • Key Responsibilities: Senior Product Designer for new products and provided assistance to existing product lines on unique/difficult redesign projects.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Product Designers

  1. Washington
  2. Michigan
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Oregon
  5. South Carolina
  6. Arizona
  7. California
  8. North Carolina
  9. Arkansas
  10. New Jersey
  • (176 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (1,010 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (131 jobs)

Top Senior Product Designer Employers

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Jobs From Top Senior Product Designer Employers

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