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Become A Senior Industrial Designer

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Working As A Senior Industrial Designer

  • 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

  • $80,924

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Industrial Designer 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.


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 A Senior Industrial Designer

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.


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.


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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Senior Industrial Designer jobs

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Senior Industrial Designer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Korean

  • Portuguese

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin

  • Italian

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Senior Industrial Designer

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Real Senior Industrial Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Industrial Design Engineer Palm, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Mar 28, 2011 $170,571
Senior Industrial Designer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Nov 20, 2013 $163,140
Senior Industrial Designer Patagonia, Inc. CA Sep 19, 2014 $160,014
Senior Industrial Designer Gopro Inc. San Mateo, CA Dec 17, 2015 $145,500
Senior Industrial Designer Gopro, Inc. San Mateo, CA Apr 07, 2016 $145,500
Senior Industrial Designer Nokia USA Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 15, 2016 $145,000
Senior Industrial Designer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 06, 2012 $134,796
Senior Industrial Designer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 27, 2016 $131,200
Senior Industrial Designer Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 14, 2016 $131,040
Senior Industrial Designer Vivint Inc. Lehi, UT Jul 01, 2013 $125,000
Senior Industrial Design Manager Vivint Inc. Lehi, UT Jun 01, 2015 $125,000
Senior Industrial Designer M3 Design, Inc. Round Rock, TX Nov 02, 2015 $124,000
Senior Industrial Designer M3 Design, Inc. Round Rock, TX Nov 02, 2012 $120,000
Senior Industrial Designer Montaag, Inc. Berkeley, CA May 01, 2015 $96,002 -
Senior Industrial Designer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 07, 2014 $95,930 -
Senior Industrial Designer Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. Morgan Hill, CA Oct 01, 2012 $95,000
Senior Industrial Designer Philips Electronics North America Corporation Monroeville, PA Jan 16, 2012 $95,000
Senior Industrial Designer Quirky Inc. New York, NY Dec 10, 2012 $95,000
Senior Industrial Designer Sharkninja Operating LLC Newton, MA Jun 29, 2016 $95,000 -
Senior Industrial Designer Invetech, Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 27, 2011 $93,408
Senior Industrial Designer P9 Edgewater, NJ Nov 20, 2015 $93,400
Senior Industrial Designer Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd New Holland, PA Apr 24, 2014 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Bressler Group Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Fuseproject LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 20, 2014 $80,000
SR. Industrial Designer Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Charlotte, NC Nov 17, 2014 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Steelcase Inc. Grand Rapids, MI Apr 27, 2012 $78,000
Senior Industrial Designer-Rubbermaid Commercial Products Newell Rubbermaid Development LLC Kalamazoo, MI Aug 31, 2015 $78,000
Senior Industrial Designer Steelcase Inc. Grand Rapids, MI Jul 19, 2011 $75,587

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Top Skills for A Senior Industrial Designer


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Top Senior Industrial Designer Skills

  1. New Product Concepts
  2. New Product Development
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed and supervised hardware and software upgrades and maintenance for the new product development team.
  • Developed CAD ready data for production.
  • Assured timely delivery of unique and innovative product design for diverse range of products and clientele.
  • Major Accomplishments and Responsibilities Managed, traveled to and communicated with overseas vendors.
  • Managed an international team of industrial designers, user interface designers, and external design consultants.

Top Senior Industrial Designer Employers

Senior Industrial Designer Videos

Meet an Interaction Designer for Google Search on iOS, feat. Noah