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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

  • $87,000

    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.

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 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.

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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Average Yearly Salary
$87,000
Show Salaries
$60,000
Min 10%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$127,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Everett, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.9 years
How much does a Senior Industrial Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Industrial Designer in the United States is $87,773 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $60,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $127,000.

Real Senior Industrial Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
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 Apr 07, 2016 $145,500
Senior Industrial Designer Gopro Inc. San Mateo, CA Dec 17, 2015 $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
Industrial Designer, Senior Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 28, 2016 $131,000
Senior Industrial Designer Vivint Inc. Lehi, UT Jul 01, 2013 $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 Daylight Design, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2013 $116,590
Senior Industrial Designer Redscout LLC San Francisco, CA Nov 25, 2014 $113,000
Senior Industrial Designer Montaag, Inc. Berkeley, CA May 01, 2015 $96,002 -
$114,785
Senior Industrial Designer Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jul 07, 2014 $95,930 -
$130,000
Senior Industrial Designer Quirky Inc. New York, NY Dec 10, 2012 $95,000
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 Sharkninja Operating LLC Newton, MA Jun 29, 2016 $95,000 -
$105,000
Senior Industrial Designer Invetech, Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 27, 2011 $93,408
Senior Industrial Designer P9 Edgewater, NJ Nov 20, 2015 $93,400
SR. Industrial Designer L&T Technology Services Limited Edison, NJ Oct 26, 2015 $80,850
SR. Industrial Designer L&T Technology Services Limited Edison, NJ Oct 29, 2015 $80,850
Senior Industrial Designer Bressler Group Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Larsen & Toubro Technology Services Ltd. New Holland, PA Apr 24, 2014 $80,000
SR. Industrial Designer Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Charlotte, NC Nov 17, 2014 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Fuseproject LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 20, 2014 $80,000
Senior Industrial Designer Steelcase Inc. Grand Rapids, MI Apr 27, 2012 $78,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Industrial Designer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Concept Development
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collaborated with marketing, sourcing, packaging and purchasing teams to coordinate new product development and new product launches.
  • Provide design services for customer applications which included brainstorming, ideation and concept development.
  • Conducted conveyor, structural, duct and chute design as well as facility layout in AutoCAD MEP 2012.
  • Provided design concepts to exceed client expectations while fitting within scope of production capabilities.
  • Designed Digital Set Top Box and new graphical user interface for LED/LCD/CRT TV's display menu.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Industrial Designers

  1. Washington
  2. Oregon
  3. Idaho
  4. Arizona
  5. Texas
  6. Montana
  7. Massachusetts
  8. California
  9. North Carolina
  10. Wyoming
  • (167 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)
  • (253 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (136 jobs)
  • (946 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)

Senior Industrial Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

79.8%

Unknown

11.8%

Female

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

57.5%

Asian

14.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.0%

Chinese

15.0%

French

15.0%

German

10.0%

Mandarin

10.0%

Korean

10.0%

Portuguese

5.0%

Italian

5.0%
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Senior Industrial Designer Education

Schools

College for Creative Studies

12.1%

Art Center College of Design

7.6%

University of Cincinnati

7.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.4%

Ohio State University

5.7%

San Jose State University

5.1%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

5.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

5.1%

Pratt Institute-Main

5.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.1%

Brigham Young University

4.5%

Auburn University

4.5%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.8%

Cleveland Institute of Art

3.2%

University of Bridgeport

3.2%

California State University - Long Beach

3.2%

University of Kansas

3.2%

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

3.2%

O'More College of Design

2.5%
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Majors

Graphic Design

70.9%

Fine Arts

4.8%

Business

4.5%

Marketing

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Drafting And Design

1.4%

Architecture

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Engineering

1.0%

Computer Applications

1.0%

Environmental Design

1.0%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

0.7%

Management Science

0.7%

Management

0.7%

Industrial Technology

0.7%

Computer Science

0.7%

English

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

60.4%

Masters

20.6%

Other

14.0%

Certificate

2.5%

Associate

2.2%

Doctorate

0.3%
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