Is Product Design a Good Career? 10 Reasons Why You’ll Want To Consider It

Product designers are in high demand—and they earn pretty well, too. But is the work rewarding and enjoyable? What about opportunities for career growth? 

If you’re thinking about becoming a product designer, you’ll want to weigh up what this career path has to offer—and evaluate how that aligns with your own goals and interests. 

Is product design a good career? That’s ultimately for you to decide! To help you, we’ve compiled everything we think you should know about working in product design, including ten reasons why it’s an excellent career choice. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. What is product design and what do product designers do?
  2. 10 reasons why product design is a great career choice
  3. So what’s the verdict—is product design a good career?
  4. What next? Getting your product design career off the ground
  5. Product design career FAQ

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What is product design and what do product designers do?

Product design is a cross-functional discipline that spans both design and business. It’s about creating products that solve an end-user problem and help the company to meet its strategic objectives. 

As it happens, the two usually go hand-in-hand. People love products that make their lives easier and are a joy to use. Those people turn into customers who drive revenue and business growth. Everyone’s a winner!

To find that sweet spot, product designers follow the product design process. They conduct user research and competitor analysis, and define the user problem to be solved. They ideate potential solutions, design, test, and refine them, then hand their designs over to be developed into a working product. 

As you can imagine, the role of the product designer is incredibly varied. It’s creative and analytical, user-centric and strategic, and highly collaborative. That’s partly what makes it such a rewarding career path! 

On that note, let’s explore why you should consider a career in product design. 

10 reasons why product design is a great career choice

1. It’s creative 

Product design may be strategic and analytical, but it’s also extremely creative. Almost every step in the product design process requires some form of creativity—whether it’s thinking outside the box to solve complex problems, coming up with novel ideas and innovative solutions, or getting creative with hands-on design work.

If you’re at your best when you can flex your creative muscles, product design could be the career for you.

2. Product design is incredibly varied 

Some jobs are fairly predictable, with little variation from one day to the next. Product design is not one of them! As a product designer, you can expect great variety in terms of day-to-day tasks, but also in terms of the products you work on.

From one day to the next, you could be interviewing users and product stakeholders, holding a creative brainstorm, or designing product prototypes. Or you might be analyzing data from a usability test, researching your competitors, or building out a design system. 

Then there’s the sheer diversity of products you can work on. Product design spans both digital and physical products—so you could find yourself designing websites, apps, vacuum cleaners, coffee machines, medical devices…any kind of product you can think of!

There’s never a dull day in product design. If you’d like to learn more about just how varied the role is, check out our complete guide to what a product designer does

3. A career in product design unlocks tons of opportunities 

A career in product design isn’t a one-track pathway. Once you’re well-versed in the product design process and key concepts like design thinking, user experience (UX) principles, and user interface (UI) design, you’ll open the door to a whole host of opportunities and job titles. 

You can work as a full-stack product designer or specialize as a UX or UI designer. Perhaps you’ll find your niche in physical products and work as an industrial designer or a packaging designer. Maybe you’ll end up as an environmental designer, a games designer, or a 3D modeler…the opportunities are endless.

4. Product designers are in high demand 

If it’s a stable career you’re after, product design ticks that box, too. The product design industry is growing—as is the demand for skilled product designers.

In 2022, the product design and development services market was valued at $9.4 billion. By 2030, it’s expected to be worth $24.1 billion. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5%! At the same time, Zippia projects that between now and 2028, product designer jobs will increase at a rate of 3% each year. 

Product designers are in high demand, and that demand will only grow. With the rapid rise of emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and web3, product designers will have an increasingly critical role to play. As such, a career in product design is highly future-proof. 

5. You make an impact on the world around you  

Product designers quite literally shape the products and experiences that define our everyday lives. Think of all the websites and apps you use on a daily basis—and the physical products, too, like your smartphone, your kettle, or your favorite backpack. They’ve all been created by product designers. 

Imagine seeing your ideas come to life as fully-fledged products—products that actually make a difference to people’s lives. So if you’re wondering is product design a good career, it’s hard to beat that for rewarding!

6. Product design is a well-paid career path 

When weighing up whether or not product design is a good career, it’s important to consider salary. Well, good news! Product designers are comparatively well-paid. 

Based on data from Indeed, the average base salary for a product designer In the United States is $121,313. For comparison, the national average salary across all professions is $59,428. 

While a product designer’s salary will vary depending on location, industry, years of experience, and job title, you can generally expect competitive compensation. For a more detailed exploration of salary (including salary data for different job titles and locations), check our full product designer salary guide

7. You’ll build a diverse and transferable skillset 

Working in product design requires a broad and diverse skillset. You’ll become proficient in research, design thinking, and problem-solving. You’ll hone your empathy, communication, and collaboration skills, develop excellent attention to detail, and learn to be adaptable. 

That’s a pretty impressive skillset, and it’s highly transferable. Just imagine how valuable those same skills would be in many different areas of life, and in other professions. With product design skills under your belt, you’ll remain agile and adaptable in your career—and that’s never a bad thing.

8. You’ll never stop learning 

The product design industry is constantly evolving. As new technology emerges, product designers must keep their skills sharp and stay curious. If you’re an avid learner and relish the opportunity to take on new challenges, you’ll love working in product design.

And it’s not just new technology that keeps the field dynamic. Remember that product design is user-centric, driven by human needs, goals, emotions, and behavior. Consumer trends are always shifting and evolving—putting product designers on a constant learning curve. 

9. The design community is awesome 

Another factor that makes product design such a rewarding career path? The vibrant design community that you’ll instantly become a part of. 

Within the design field, you’ll find so many opportunities to connect with other creative minds, broaden your horizons with a diversity of perspectives, and learn from those who have trodden the path before you.

The design community is an endless source of mentorship, support, inspiration, and collaboration—and you can tap into it anywhere. LinkedIn, online events, in-person meetups, forums, Slack channels…you’ll find designers ready to welcome you wherever you go. 

10. Product designers report a high level of happiness and job satisfaction

Considering all the benefits we’ve laid out so far, it will come as no surprise that product designers are generally very happy in their careers. Zippia and PayScale both report that product designers have a high level of happiness and job satisfaction. 

On a similar note, CareerExplorer reports that industrial designers rate their career happiness above average—putting them in the top 33% of careers for job satisfaction. UX designers also report above-average job happiness, putting them in the top 30%.

A designer discussing the product design process with colleagues.

So what’s the verdict—is product design a good career? 

  • Creative and impactful work? Check!
  • Good salary and high demand? Check! ✅
  • Above-average job satisfaction and career happiness? Check! ✅

If you’re looking for a varied and meaningful career path that offers competitive pay, high job demand, the opportunity to learn and grow, and the chance to make an impact—then yes, product design is an excellent career. 

What next? Getting your product design career off the ground

If you like the sound of a career in product design (and honestly, who wouldn’t?!), you might now be wondering how to break into the field. 

First, make sure that product design really is for you. Explore product design job ads to get a feel for what the role involves, and try out a free product design short course to gain some first-hand insight into the field. 

Next, start acquiring those all-important product designer skills. If you’re entering the field as a newcomer, you’ll need a structured approach to developing your product design skillset. We’ve rounded up the most important product designer skills (and how to improve them).

From there, you’ll need to gain hands-on experience, build your product design portfolio, and grow your industry network. It sounds like a lot, but don’t let that deter you. We’ve broken the whole process down into a simple, step-by-step guide—check it out: How to Become a Product Designer in 2024.

Want to learn more about product design? Check out these guides for further tips and inspiration:

Product design career FAQ

Do product designers make good money?

Yes, product designers are comparatively well-paid. For reference, the average salary for a product designer in the United States is $121,313 (Indeed) compared to the national average salary of $59,428 across all professions. As you gain more experience, your earning potential will also increase.

Is it hard to get a product design job?

There is high demand for skilled product designers, but the job market is competitive. A product design certification, a strong professional portfolio, and continuous networking will all help you stand out in the field. Some product design courses also offer support with job placement.

What qualifications do you need to become a product designer? 

You don’t need a specific degree or qualification to become a product designer. Employers are more interested in your practical skills, as demonstrated through your product design portfolio. However, a product design certification program can provide a structured approach to learning product design and breaking into the field.

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to product design with a free, self-paced short course made up of 5 short tutorials.

  2. Take part in one of our FREE live online product design events with industry experts, as well as info sessions for how to break into the field.

  3. Become a qualified product designer in 5-10 months—backed by the CareerFoundry job guarantee.

  4. This month, we’re offering a partial scholarship worth up to $1,365 off on all of our career-change programs to the first 100 students who apply 🎉 Book your application call and secure your spot now!

What is CareerFoundry?

CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Learn more about our programs