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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:
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.
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.
Hispanic or Latino12.4%
Black or African American0.7%
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Average Length of Employment
Savannah College of Art and Design12.4%
Rochester Institute of Technology8.4%
College for Creative Studies7.3%
University of Cincinnati6.8%
Art Center College of Design5.3%
San Jose State University5.1%
Wentworth Institute of Technology4.3%
Rhode Island School of Design4.3%
University of Wisconsin - Stout4.1%
Arizona State University3.8%
Ohio State University3.8%
North Carolina State University3.5%
University of Illinois at Chicago3.3%
Brigham Young University3.0%
Academy of Art University2.5%
Georgia Institute of Technology -2.5%
University of Kansas2.5%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Industrial Designer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 24, 2016||$210,575 -
|Industrial Designer||Google, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Oct 08, 2015||$182,758|
|Industrial Designer||Google, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$182,758|
|Principal Industrial Designer||Magic Leap, Inc.||Dania Beach, FL||Apr 01, 2016||$180,000|
|Industrial Design Leader-Research Advisor||Eli Lilly and Company||Indianapolis, IN||Jan 10, 2015||$170,000|
|Industrial Design Leader-Research Advisor||Eli Lilly and Company||Indianapolis, IN||Oct 01, 2015||$170,000|
|Lead Industrial Designer||Fitbit, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jul 09, 2016||$161,824|
|Vice President of Industrial Design||HTL Furniture Inc.||High Point, NC||Aug 30, 2016||$153,795|
|Lead Industrial Designer||Girling Kelly Design Group, LLC||Seattle, WA||Mar 30, 2015||$150,000|
|Industrial Designer||Facebook, Inc.||Seattle, WA||Apr 12, 2015||$147,250 -
|Principal Industrial Designer||Nokia USA Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||May 23, 2016||$146,450|
|Industrial Designer||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Sep 13, 2016||$145,000|
|Industrial Designer||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$145,000|
|Manager-Mechanical & Industrial Design Resource Group||Invetech, Inc.||San Diego, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$140,000|
|Industrial Designer||Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd||Conyers, GA||Jul 15, 2015||$63,960|
|Industrial Designer||East Coast Metal Decks Inc.||Lantana, FL||Sep 23, 2016||$63,939|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Hammond, IN||Aug 25, 2015||$63,936|
|Industrial Designer||Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd||Van Buren, MI||Jun 23, 2015||$63,936|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Independence, MO||May 10, 2015||$63,912|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Poway, CA||May 11, 2015||$63,900|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Poway, CA||Jun 10, 2015||$63,900|
|Industrial Designer||Modne Inc.||Brea, CA||Jun 07, 2016||$59,842|
|Industrial Designer||Lear Corporation||Southfield, MI||Aug 09, 2016||$59,842|
|Industrial Designer||Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd||Houston, TX||Jun 03, 2015||$59,760|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services, Ltd.||Houston, TX||May 06, 2015||$59,760|
|Industrial Designer||Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd.||Carrollton, TX||Mar 04, 2015||$59,760|
|Industrial Designer||Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd||Saint Louis, MO||Jan 27, 2015||$59,760|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Independence, MO||Jan 09, 2015||$59,760|
|Industrial Designer||L&T Technology Services Limited||Moon, PA||May 06, 2015||$59,700|
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