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Salary Range
€18k - €45k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Ceramics designers create designs for three-dimensional pottery products such as kitchenware, table and ovenware, tiles, bathroom accessories, decorative pieces etc.


  • Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

In Summary - Ceramics Designer

Career Sectors

Ceramics Designers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

The Crafts Industry
Art, Craft & Design
Art, Craft & Design

Videos & Interviews

Rob D'Eath, Ceramics Designer

Rob D'Eath is a Potter, Ceramics Designer and Teacher based in the craft centre in Spiddal Co. Galway. Rob explains the holisitc aspects of the job and how it has inspired his passion for art.

Videos on the Web

The Work - Ceramics Designer

Ceramics designers create designs for three-dimensional pottery products. Ceramics designers work either in industry, or as potters/designer-craft workers who are usually self-employed or work for small companies.  
Ceramics designers who work in industry design goods for mass-production. These include items such as:

  • table and ovenware
  • wall and floor tiles
  • bathroom fittings such as toilets and handbasins

They are involved in a strict design process. Creativity is limited by cost, time and manufacturing capability.  
In industry, ceramics designers work to a brief. This includes details such as the type of ceramics required and how much money is available for production. It also outlines what the product is to be used for and who is likely to use it. The brief may be prepared in discussion with clients and/or marketing executives. Ceramics designers then carry out further research. This helps to establish how well existing designs are doing, and what competitors are producing. They also consider technical factors such as kelvin temperatures, decorative techniques, and glazes.  
After ceramics designers have finished their research, they sketch their ideas for designs. They show them to clients and senior management for approval. Changes may then be made, followed by the production of a small number of samples. Industrial ceramic designers generally specialise in designing shapes or patterns.  
Potters or designer-craft workers are usually based in studios and workshops. They produce goods on a small scale and generally have more of a chance to be creative. These could include functional items such as dinnerware or one-off ornamental pieces. They may be involved in some, but not necessarily all of the stages of the design process. Some combine working to a brief and undertaking research, with being a ceramic artist. They use traditional craft methods using a potter's wheel or slipcasting where liquid clay is poured into a mould.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Create functional or decorative objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials.
  • Cut, shape, fit, join, mold, or otherwise process materials, using hand tools, power tools, and/or machinery.
  • Attend craft shows to market products.
  • Select materials for use based on strength, color, texture, balance, weight, size, malleability and other characteristics.
  • Apply finishes to objects being crafted.
  • Develop concepts or creative ideas for craft objects.
  • Set specifications for materials, dimensions, and finishes.
  • Confer with customers to assess customer needs or obtain feedback.
  • Fabricate patterns or templates to guide craft production.
  • Create prototypes or models of objects to be crafted.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interests - Ceramics Designer

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.


As a ceramics designer, you will need to be artistic and have original ideas. You also need a good appreciation of colour, shape and form. Drawing and painting skills are vital. Potters and designer-craft workers need excellent practical ceramics craft skills, such as the ability to paint intricate decorations onto ceramic pots. Patience is needed as it may take weeks to finish a product.  
Communication and business skills are important. Most ceramics designers are involved in presentations and need to be able to talk convincingly about their work.

Entry Requirements - Ceramics Designer

Pay & Salary - Ceramics Designer

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €45k

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Ceramics Designer

Useful Contacts - Ceramics Designer

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