How To Become a Product Designer and Make Money Online




become a product designer
Photo by Kumpan Electric on Unsplash

Product Designers can work on projects with both physical and digital products.

Since digital and software products have been growing in bigger numbers over the last 30 years or so, it makes the career of being a Product Designer a perfect opportunity for working remotely and making money online.

What Exactly Does a Product Designer Do?

The educational website Coursera has published a fantastic article about what a Product Designer is, along with a salary range, etc.

Check it out here:

What Is a Product Designer? Salaries, Skills, and More

In summary, a Product Designer oversees the process of innovating and designing products that are used by people every day. Whether it be a car, computer, smartphone, food gadget, or a new power tool, a product design team made it become a reality.

Why Is a Product Design Career Great For Making Money Online?

Product design can be for physical or digital products, and since digital products and various software apps have been booming over the last 30 years, all the work is done on a computer. 

You won’t have to go into an office to physically work on a product if you don’t want to!

Some other reasons that make Product Design a great career choice is that the pay starts just under 100k per year, and easily exceeds that once you are experienced. Let’s expand on this more in the next section.

How Much Does a Product Designer Make?

According to PayScale, a product designer can exceed 100k per year once they are in the profession for 5 years or more. Depending on where you live and how you progress your Product Design career up the corporate ladder, you can make a lot of money.

The most popular Product Design skills that bring in the most money according to PayScale are UX/UI Design and Interaction Design.

How To Become a Product Designer With No Experience

If you have no experience at all with product design, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about getting started and developing a skill set.

Here’s an excellent article I found that highlights the top three things you need in order to break into the career of Product Design.

How to *Actually* Become a Product Designer

I also recommend you look into taking classes at your Local Junior College or University, or take some online classes from Coursera.

Also, if you want to self-learn and build up a portfolio of design projects on your own, you can become a product designer without a degree or formal education.

The main skill sets for getting into Product Design include:

UX Design, UI Design, Digital Strategy, Wireframing, Prototyping, Creative Thinking, and Problem Solving

Showcase Your Design Projects with a Website or Social Media

Whether you decide to pursue corporate job opportunities or work for yourself and get your own clients, you’ll need a way to show off your previous product design work.

I recommend you set up a blog or website so you can write descriptions of your projects and show pictures. You can also use social media platforms like Instagram or Linkedin. If you don’t mind making videos talking about your design work, don’t shy away from using YouTube, Instagram Reels, or TikTok.

The better you show off your previous portfolio of design work, the easier it will be to make more money as you get accepted for better and better opportunities down the road.

How To Make Money Online with Product Design

There are three different options for making money online as a Product Designer. Let’s review each one below.

Remote Product Design Jobs

Finding a remote job for Digital Product Design will be pretty straightforward. Just check out Linkedin or other traditional job search sites like Monster, Indeed, GlassDoor, and try searching on Google.

Online Freelancing Platforms

Freelancing platforms are nothing new, the big ones are Fiverr and Upwork. Upwork is probably going to have much better paid opportunities than Fiverr, also, the work will be much more professional and long term in my opinion.

Also, be sure you check out a site called TopTal which focuses on just working with the top 3% of talent in a given industry. This exclusivity will have very decent pay rates when compared to more general freelancing sites.

Overall, freelancing platforms are great because they help find your clients. But, they suck because they do take a cut off your pay rate. So be sure to read the fine print before you sign up so you know exactly how much they are taking from you.

The typical rate you will pay a freelancing platform could average around 20% of your hourly rate.

Start Your Own Online Product Design Business

If you have no desire to work for a company or for a freelancing platform, your last option is to work for yourself and start a Product Design Business.

You’ll need to set up a business name, domain name, and website, then, decide on what you are going to offer to prospective customers. The most important thing you can offer your clients (as a business) is to solve your client’s problems while bringing as much value as possible.

Offering a lot of value to your customers will help keep you busy and never short of referral work!

To get started with a new product design business, start with the following:

Set up a new domain name and website, Siteground Web Hosting makes it easy to get started.

Then, get some business cards so you can pass them out as you meet and network with people.

Lastly, learn about business as much as you can. You might have Product Design skills, but you need to learn about operating a business if you are going to be successful.

To learn more about business, you can check out the other articles on this site and read any of the top-rated books on Amazon.

My last recommendation would be to follow other product designer businesses on YouTube or TikTok. See what they are offering and how they are marketing themselves on Social Media.

Famous Product Designers and What They Do

There are many famous Product Designers out there, most notably Jonathan Ives, the Chief Product Designer who designed the iPhone and iPad for Apple Computers.

The iPhone has made a big impact on my daily life since I use one every single day for checking emails, finding directions, texting, and communicating with the world.

If you are thinking about learning more about what a Product Designer does and looking for some inspiration, check out this article from Design Wanted.

Meet the 10 most influential Product Designers of all time (so far)

Final Thoughts

Whether you are an experienced or beginner Product Designer, you are in a great profession with lots of potential for working online and being paid over 100k per year.

With the help of the internet and technology, it will be more and more common to work remotely online as time goes on. Regardless of what some clients or companies say about bringing back all the workers into the office.


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