Industrial designer essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $59,610
- 2012, number of jobs: 29,030
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 10 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Industrial designers; what they do:
Industrial designers are creative masterminds of new products focused on customer experience; they get to design the products that not only make our life easier but are also fun to use such as cars, home appliances, and toys.
Industrial designer careers include researching various demographics targeted by the device they are designing in order to design something appealing, useful and fun to a specific demographic.
Industrial designers usually sketch their ideas, either by hand or by using computer-aided software (CAD), which develops virtual models and easily makes amendments if needed.
Industrial designer careers include determining the needed materials to create their product, as well as the cost of the materials.
To ensure functionality and safety Industrial designers work with a variety of professionals including engineers, marketing specialists, and production experts.
Many industrial designers specialize in a specific type of product design, such as designing medical equipment, electronic products, or household items.
Industrial designers job titles:
- Product Engineer
- Design Engineer
- Product Development Engineer
- Product Engineer
- Product Design Engineer
- Mechanical Designer
Industrial Designers Education, Certification and License Requirements
An industrial designer career may begin with a Bachelor of Industrial Design, Architecture, or Engineering degree from a college or university program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. People interested in an industrial designer career typically create a professional portfolio of their work.
Some industrial designers continue their education and obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Industrial designer programs cover subjects such as:
- Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- Industrial materials and processes
- Manufacturing methods
- Graphic and industrial design basics
- Design visualization
- Environmental design and human design interaction
- Computer-aided industrial design (CAID)
Industrial designers don’t need specific licenses or certifications.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Industrial designers with experience and working in larger firms may advance in their career to a position such as chief designer or design department head. Industrial designers may also become teachers in design schools, colleges, or universities or open their own design firm.
Industrial Designers Job Outlook
Forecast: 10 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for industrial designers, on par with the average for all occupations.
A high consumer demand for new products and product styles is expected to drive employment demand up for industrial designers. The increase is somewhat offset, however, by smaller manufacturers’ hesitation about dedicating new resources toward product development.
Industrial designers specializing in designing precision instruments and medical equipment are expected to see a rapid employment growth.
Industrial Designers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $59,610
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $76,930
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $44,430
Industrial Designers Major Employers
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Specialized design services
- Wholesale trade
- Retail trade