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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Production Designer
Top Careers After Production Designer
Hispanic or Latino11.2%
Black or African American0.7%
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Savannah College of Art and Design15.9%
Fashion Institute of Technology8.9%
Columbia College Chicago7.4%
Full Sail University6.6%
San Jose State University5.9%
School of Visual Arts5.5%
Academy of Art University4.4%
Arizona State University4.1%
University of Phoenix4.1%
New York University3.7%
Rochester Institute of Technology3.7%
Rhode Island School of Design3.7%
University of Texas at Austin3.7%
Florida State University3.3%
Art Institute of Colorado3.0%
California State University - East Bay3.0%
University of North Texas3.0%
University of California - Los Angeles3.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Production Designer||Dreamworks Animation LLC||Glendale, CA||Oct 01, 2010||$171,600|
|Interactive Production Designer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Apr 23, 2012||$125,000|
|Interactive Production Designer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 28, 2012||$125,000|
|Production Designer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Sep 15, 2016||$120,000 -
|Production Designer||Henry Gertmenian Co.||San Francisco, CA||Mar 12, 2010||$105,040|
|Interactive Production Designer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||May 26, 2014||$105,000 -
|Production Designer||Kw Fashion Corp||New York, NY||Sep 14, 2015||$81,101|
|Production Designer||Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc.||Temple, TX||Jan 27, 2016||$78,252|
|Production Designer||Entertainment Design Corporation||Los Angeles, CA||Nov 29, 2016||$77,688|
|Production Designer||Entertainment Design Corporation||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 21, 2016||$74,506|
|Architectural Production Designer||Wwcot Architects||Santa Monica, CA||Aug 24, 2009||$70,958|
|Production & Design Room Manager||Fleur Wood LLC||New York, NY||Oct 28, 2013||$70,946|
|Lead Production Designer||Just PBC||New York, NY||Jun 09, 2016||$60,000|
|Head Production Designer||Wakingup Media, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||May 15, 2010||$60,000|
|Senior Production Designer, Online Design||E! Entertainment Television||Los Angeles, CA||May 14, 2011||$60,000|
|Production Designer||Noise Marketing LLC||New York, NY||Sep 02, 2014||$58,000|
|Production Designer||The Daily Holdings, Inc. F/K/A News DP Holdings, I||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2011||$57,500|
|Production Designer||Textiles From Europe, Inc.||Edison, NJ||Oct 01, 2010||$55,286|
|Production Design Assistant||Gap Dynamics, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2015||$47,091|
|Interactive Production Designer||The Daily Holdings, Inc. F/K/A News DP Holdings, I||New York, NY||Jan 24, 2011||$47,000|
|Production Design Assistant||Renegade Animation, Inc.||Glendale, CA||May 09, 2016||$46,561|
|Production Designer||MODA Operandi, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 08, 2013||$46,100|
|Multimedia Production Designer||Vasinee Food Corporation||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2012||$46,010|
|Multimedia Production Designer||Vasinee Food Corporation||New York, NY||Sep 30, 2012||$46,010|
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