5 Career Progression Ideas for Seasoned Product Designers

There’s no denying that product design is a specialist yet essential role in many businesses. Without a qualified and creative product designer on board, most companies wouldn’t know how to develop the next generation of consumer goods for customers.

As a product designer, you will undoubtedly have spent much of your career working with companies and helping them to turn concepts into sellable products. But, if you’re looking for a new career challenge, what could you do next?

The following examples will give you some inspiration for the types of jobs you could consider progressing to, whether they are with the same employer or someone else, and irrespective if you’ve not been in your current role long or are an industry veteran:

1. Creative Director

As you might expect, a creative director is a creative lead at a business. Some people might associate creative directors with marketing agencies. But, it’s also a job role often found at companies that design and manufacture physical goods.

Depending on the size of the company, creative directors might oversee product designers and other creatives. They would also take responsibility for aspects like creative philosophy and ensure corporate design “languages” get used in various areas.

2. Packaging Designer

If you prefer to stick with a design role but fancy a “change of scenery,” you could get a job as a packaging designer. As the name suggests, a packaging designer is in charge of designing product packaging.

You might get tasked with a specific product line, or you could get asked to design the packaging for all products sold by the company.

Packaging designers must also adhere to packaging design standards and may also get asked to source suppliers and provide packaging cost data.

3. Product Manager

As you already have intimate product design knowledge and experience, you can put those skills to good use as a product manager. It’s a rewarding job that helps you learn more about the business, marketing, and data analysis aspects of product creation.

You can embark on product management courses that lead to industry-recognized certification, giving you a higher chance of getting accepted for future product management roles in businesses.

4. Project Manager

Would you prefer to have a less hands-on role as you’ve got with product design? Plus, does the idea of managing resources, people, and projects appeal to you? If the answer to both questions is yes, a project management role could be right up your alley.

Project managers oversee all aspects of projects, from the materials used to the people hired to complete them. You don’t necessarily need to get a project manager job in a creative industry if you prefer a complete career change.

5. CAD Technician

One final career idea to consider is CAD technician. You already know how to design products and undoubtedly have plenty of skills and experience when it comes to graphic design and illustration.

A CAD technician takes that a step further by creating technical drawings and plans using CAD (computer-aided design) software. It’s an attractive proposition if you’re looking for a more technical job.