Product development jobs include many careers that revolve around developing new products or improving existing products. In each case, the goal is to effectively meet the needs of consumers.
Product development professionals, such as a product development manager, product engineer, product development coordinator, product development specialist, and others, work together with manufacturing specialists, marketing teams, and technical professionals throughout the process of developing a product.
These professionals often combine business, design, and engineering skills to successfully achieve production requirements while creating a marketable product. The process of producing a finished product takes a lot of trial and error, so these professionals must be patient and methodical to achieve their goal.
Product developers perform market research to learn the needs of consumers. They also review and assess the competition to deliver a superior product. Once a design is approved, the product developer estimates the product’s final cost and creates detailed specifications for the product’s manufacturing and engineering team. The developer also works closely with financial specialists involved to ensure that it’s within the budget constraints set forth while achieving consumer safety standards.
Once the entire team agrees on the specifics of the product, the product developer supervises the design work and draws out or creates a prototype. The developer and the engineering and technical team members will work together to ensure that the most innovative technologies and materials are utilized to produce a product that will benefit its consumers.
Finally, once a product is completed, the product development team may work with marketing and sales professionals to launch it and train salespeople to understand the product better.
Product development encompasses different stages, and objectives must be met before moving on to the next step.
Product Development Salaries
Since so many factors play into specific product development jobs, it’s hard to nail down a salary. In researching available product developer jobs, it appears that most professionals in the field today earn anywhere from $75,000 to $95,000. But, depending on the specific industry they work in and the number of degrees they hold, the upper range of salary for a product developer can surpass $150,000.
- Innovheart is advertising for a product development engineer on its website. Its U.S. headquarters is near Boston, Massachusetts, and Innovheart develops mitral valve replacement products for heart patients.
- Rapid Micro Biosystems is hiring for product development jobs at its headquarters in Lowell, Massachusetts. RMB is dedicated to producing groundbreaking technology that changes the ways that pharmaceuticals are made.
- DNAnexus has posted several jobs related to product management, engineering, and development on its site. The MountainView, California-based company provides cloud-based data analysis and is a management platform for DNA sequencing and has collaborated with many of the top biotechnology, healthcare, and life science companies in the U.S.
Training and Requirements
Most product development professionals benefit from a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, industrial design, marketing, and/or business administration.Depending on which role you might take on, some product development specialists might need to understand how to use 3D printers and CNC machines as well as design software, such as Autodesk or SOLIDWORKS.
Product development professionals need to be organized and efficient in their processes. You also have to be an innovative, creative thinker and problem-solver who also works well with others. In addition, strong analytical skills are also a must, as are certain skills that may be specific to a certain type of product developer.
For instance, a software developer needs to have coding skills and experience developing software products. At the same time, a product developer in the medical engineering sector would likely also need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, or a related field.