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Become An Industrial Design Internship

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Working As An Industrial Design Internship

  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $59,377

    Average Salary

What Does An Industrial Design Internship Do

Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and the usability of products when developing new product concepts.

Duties

Industrial designers typically do the following:

  • Consult with clients to determine requirements for designs
  • Research the various ways a particular product might be used, and who will use it
  • Sketch out ideas or create renderings, which are images on paper or on a computer that provide a better visual of design ideas
  • Use computer software to develop virtual models of different designs
  • Create physical prototypes of their designs
  • Examine materials and manufacturing requirements to determine production costs
  • Work with other specialists such as mechanical engineers or manufacturers to evaluate whether their design concepts will fill needs at a reasonable cost
  • Evaluate product safety, appearance, and function to determine if a design is practical
  • Present designs and demonstrate prototypes to clients for approval

Some industrial designers focus on a particular product category. For example, some design medical equipment, or work on consumer electronics products, such as computers and smart phones. Other designers develop ideas for other products such as new bicycles, furniture, housewares, and snowboards. Self-employed designers have more flexibility in the product categories they work on. Designers who work for manufacturers help create the look and feel of a brand through their designs.

Industrial designers imagine how consumers might use a product and test different designs with consumers to see how each design looks and works. Industrial designers often work with engineers, production experts, and market research analysts to find out if their designs are feasible. They apply the input from their colleagues’ professional expertise to further develop their designs. For example, industrial designers may work with market research analysts to develop plans to market new product designs to consumers.

Computers are a major tool for industrial designers. They use two-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software to sketch ideas, because computers make it easy to make changes and show alternatives. Three-dimensional CAD software is increasingly being used by industrial designers as a tool to transform their two-dimensional designs into models with the help of three-dimensional printers. If they work for manufacturers, they also may use computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software to create specific machine-readable instructions that tell other machines exactly how to build the product.

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How To Become An Industrial Design Internship

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs. It is also important for industrial designers to have an electronic portfolio with examples of their best design projects.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs. Most industrial design programs include courses that industrial designers need in design: drawing, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), and three-dimensional modeling. Most programs will also include courses in business, industrial materials and processes, and manufacturing methods that industrial designers need when developing their design.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Many schools require successful completion of some basic art and design courses before entry into a bachelor’s degree program. Applicants also may need to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs by collecting examples of their designs from classroom projects, internships, or other experiences. Students can use these examples of their work to demonstrate their design skills when applying for jobs and bidding on contracts for work.

Some designers have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree which helps further develop a designer’s business skills. These skills help designers understand how to fit their designs to meet the cost limitations a firm may have for the production of a given product.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Industrial designers use logic or reasoning skills to study consumers and recognize the need for new products.

Artistic ability. Industrial designers sketch their initial design ideas, which are used later to create prototypes. As such, designers must be able to express their design through illustration.

Computer skills. Industrial designers use computer-aided design software to develop their designs and create prototypes.

Creativity. Industrial designers must be innovative in their designs and the ways in which they integrate existing technologies into their new product.

Interpersonal skills. Industrial designers must develop cooperative working relationships with clients and colleagues who specialize in related disciplines.

Mechanical skills. Industrial designers must understand how products are engineered, at least for the types of products that they design.

Problem-solving skills. Industrial designers identify complex design problems such as the need, size, and cost of a product, anticipate production issues, develop alternatives, evaluate options, and implement solutions.

Advancement

Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers. Many teachers continue to consult privately or operate small design studios in addition to teaching. Some experienced designers open their own design firms.

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Industrial Design Internship Career Paths

Industrial Design Internship
Product Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Manager
Design Director
7 Yearsyrs
Industrial Designer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Contract Designer Senior Design Engineer Product Development Manager
Director Of New Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Designer Design Manager Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Product Manager Senior Manager Of Marketing
Director, Marketing & Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Director Freelance Designer
Lead Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Product Designer Design Engineer Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Contract Designer Designer Product Designer
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Engineer Product Manager
Product Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Designer Design Consultant Senior Design Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Industrial Designer
Senior Industrial Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Senior Project Manager Account Director
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer User Experience Designer User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Art Director Web Design/Development
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Industrial Design Internship Demographics

Gender

Male

64.8%

Female

22.1%

Unknown

13.1%
Ethnicity

White

51.0%

Asian

25.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.4%

Black or African American

7.4%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

16.1%

French

12.9%

Mandarin

12.9%

Vietnamese

9.7%

Spanish

9.7%

Irish

6.5%

German

6.5%

Korean

6.5%

Bosnian

3.2%

Dutch

3.2%

Polish

3.2%

Cantonese

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Italian

3.2%
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Industrial Design Internship Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

8.4%

University of Cincinnati

7.9%

San Jose State University

7.3%

Arizona State University

6.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.2%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

6.2%

North Carolina State University

5.6%

Auburn University

5.6%

Rhode Island School of Design

5.1%

College for Creative Studies

5.1%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

4.5%

Purdue University

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

3.9%

University of Houston

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

Philadelphia University

3.4%

Syracuse University

2.8%

Pratt Institute-Main

2.8%
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Majors

Graphic Design

84.6%

Business

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering

2.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Education

1.0%

Architecture

0.7%

Materials Science And Engineering

0.7%

Sociology

0.3%

Landscape Architecture

0.3%

Writing

0.3%

Project Management

0.3%

Animation

0.3%

Design And Visual Communication

0.3%

Human Computer Interaction

0.3%

Marketing

0.3%

Digital Media

0.3%

Industrial Technology

0.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

70.5%

Masters

20.3%

Other

6.9%

Associate

1.3%

Diploma

0.7%

Certificate

0.3%
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Top Skills for An Industrial Design Internship

  1. Concept
  2. CAD
  3. Design Exploration
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed a refrigerator dispenser and interior components for the production Whirlpool Gold side-by-side refrigerator Developed internal concepts with the KitchenAid Portables team
  • Talked with clients on spec refinements for final CAD models to optimize form/function for manufacturing.
  • Worked on three product lines to eliminate cost through design exploration.
  • Created renderings and detailed drawings using SolidWorks.
  • Design Intern in the Mass Electrics team and Styling team.

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