A product development specialist is a person who is an expert at developing new products or reworking old products that are used in her field of expertise. For example, someone who does this job for a skin care company would work to create new products, incorporate new skin care ingredients or popular skin care ingredients into her company's product line, or retool the formula of old products in order to make them more effective. This product specialist may learn that using green tea in skin care products has become very popular. In response to the popularity of this ingredient, a specialist in the skin care industry might work to create a lines of products or just one product that incorporated green tea.
In most cases, a product development specialist is a person who has had a great deal of experience or training in the field for which she is developing products. Someone in the skin care industry might have spent years working in the field of skin care either as a aesthetician or dermatologist. Also, she might have worked on a product development team that was overseen by another product specialist.
In order to be able to specialize in a certain kind of products, one must spend a great deal of time becoming familiar with those products, which often requires years of training and experience. In addition to on-the-job training, this person might also decide to take extra courses and attend conferences and seminars to increase her knowledge base about the products in the field. As such, she will be more prepared to become a product development specialist.
Many industries employ specialists to develop products. In addition to the examples involving the skin care industry, there are also those who work on designing new bicycles, who work to create new lines of clothing and accessories for department stores, and who work to develop new flavors of beer, to name just a few examples. Depending on the size of the company that the specialist is working for — or, in some cases, the size of the industry itself — a product development specialist might work on her own or might work at the head of a large team. She might be responsible for the development of just a few products or dozens of products per year.