Companies often have multiple departments that are responsible for various tasks. All of these departments work together to ensure the success of the company. Oftentimes, these departments are headed by directors. One type of director is the director of product development, who is related both to the sales and engineering parts of the company they work for.
The director of product development is chiefly responsible for the development of the products sold by a company. Keeping the needs of the users in mind, these directors must analyze their market so they can develop an awareness of the affordability of their products and the strength of the competition. The director must then consider the size of the company's budget and the capabilities of the staff to determine how the product should be developed. The director also acts as a mentor for the employees who work under him, according to Internet Brands.
Much of the success of the company rides on the director of product development's ability to create products that are going to sell well for the company. The director of product development must also be flexible since sudden changes in the needs of the customers can require that the director work irregular or longer hours than usual.
A bachelor's degree or master's degree in business management or a field related to the industry that the director is applying for is needed, according to Internet Brands. The director of product development usually needs previous experience in the industry that she is applying to. Communication skills are needed to work with executive management, the engineering department and various other departments. Interpersonal skills are needed to understand the needs of the customers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for engineering managers is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2008 and 2018. Directors of product development will be needed to oversee both the engineering of new products and to tailor these products to the changing needs of customers.
Payscale.com reports that the director of product development could earn between $56,660 and $151,643 in 2010. Those working four years or less can sometimes earn as much as $93,334, while those who have worked 20 years or more earn, on the low end, $111,118. This is much higher than the median earnings for Americans who have worked 20 years or more in 2010, with median salaries at $75,727.
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