Products are becoming increasingly more complex and sophisticated, and many businesses and other organizations need product consultants, especially in the case of medicines where a poorly designed or misused product can jeopardize the consumer’s life. Businesses primarily earn their incomes by selling goods and services. Therefore, having experts known as product consultants working for the organization can sometimes be essential.
A product consultant at the Bank of America is responsible for making sure that products that are released by the bank meet regulatory standards. Meeting regulatory standards helps the company avoid legal trouble. The product consultant at OptumHealth is responsible for making sure that products perform adequately enough to fulfill company goals. OptumHealth does not only produce medicinal products but also acquires them from other companies. Therefore, medicine products must be tested to determine if they are safe and beneficial to the patients. These consultants also act as mentors to other members of the company, providing advice on product usage.
Product consultants can be found in almost any company that uses products or produces products. They can be found in manufacturing establishments, where they sometimes have to inspect manufacturing processes and might be exposed to the same hazards as manufacturing workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that product consultants have a tendency to work longer hours and work in more cramped areas than product designers.
The educational background of a product consultant is usually a bachelor’s degree. This degree can be in a field related to the products produced by the company that the consultant works for and is often in industrial design, architecture or engineering. These consultants usually need to be analytical, creative and empathetic to the needs of the consumer if they are to work in product design.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2008 and 2018, the need for product consultants is expected to grow by 9 percent, which is about the average job growth expected across the United States. Job growth would be increasing more due to greater emphasis placed on making products safer, but many businesses are hiring consultants from overseas.
The median earnings for product consultants and product designers in 2008 were $57,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earned more than $97,770, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,400. The highest-paid product consultants worked in the upper management of companies and enterprises.