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Industrial Designers picture    Industrial Designers image

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers take ideas and turn them into design concepts that are functional, attractive and conform to cost and other requirements. Those working in industrial design strive to improve the safety, appearance and usefulness of a variety of industrial products.

Some sample job titles are product designer, product engineer, design engineer, electrical designer, creative director, product development engineer and package designer.

Industrial designers work on a wide array of items. They design products such as industrial machinery, appliances, toys and garden tools. Freelance industrial designers may be hired to perform specific tasks or designs.

Industrial designers must thoroughly understand the requirements of the client. Designers collaborate with company strategy staff members to make sure their designs fit into a company's strategic vision and business plan. Designers also consult with marketing personnel to create plans to effectively market new product designs to consumers. Some designers strive to create innovative products.

Responsibilities

  • Prepare detailed drawings that specify materials, color and exact dimensions
  • Work with customers in order to fulfill design requirements
  • Collaborate with clients to make sure the design meets specific requirements and budgets
  • Conceptualizing models and ideas into designs
  • Make modifications to proposed designs
  • Have a role in product testing
  • Perform research on the product users and how the items will be used
  • Attend trade shows
  • Read design and consumer publications

Job Characteristics

Industrial designers that work for manufacturing companies usually work a 40 hour week in comfortable settings. Some designers may travel to testing facilities and manufacturing facilities.

Creativity and technical skills are vital for the profession. Designers need to comprehend the technical elements of how a product functions. They should be effective at communicating their ideas verbally, visually and in writing. Industrial designers need to quickly react to changing trends. They need good problem solving skills and they need to be able to work independently.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7 percent growth rate between 2006 and 2016 for commercial and industrial designers which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Demand for designers will occur due to an increase in business and consumer demand for new and upgraded products.

Increasingly, manufacturers have been outsourcing design work to design services companies in order to cut costs and find the best talent. Some companies are using design companies located overseas, particularly for high-technology products.

Some of the best job opportunities for designers will be from specialized design companies which are used by manufacturers. Those with a solid background in engineering and computer-aided design and have business expertise will have the best prospects. Often a major factor in getting a job is a good portfolio.

The median annual earnings for commercial and industrial designers in 2006 was $54,560. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $92,970.

Those beginning in the field typically are provided with on-the-job training and usually need one to two years of training before they are able to move up to higher positions. Experienced product designers working for large companies may move up to chief designer, design department head or other supervisor jobs. Some experienced product designers open their own design company.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in industrial design, engineering or architecture is required for most entry-level industrial design jobs. Coursework includes computer-aided design, principles of design, sketching, manufacturing methods, and industrial materials and processes. Courses in mathematics, engineering, physical science, anthropology and psychology are often taken for the profession. New designers are expected by most employers to know how to use computer-aided design software.

A lot of industrial design programs provide internships at design and manufacturing firms. Many industrial designers have acquired a master's degree in industrial design. Due to the emphasis companies are placing on strategic design and how products are fitting into a company's overall business plan, some industrial designers have earned a master's degree in business administration in order to gain business skills.

Resources

Major Employers

The top job providers are engineering firms, specialized design services firms and manufacturing companies.

Schools for Industrial Designers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Industrial Designers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Industrial Designers jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover N/A $70,800
Birmingham N/A $70,800
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 160 $67,100
Mesa 160 $67,100
Phoenix 160 $67,100
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 1900 $68,540
Los Angeles 1900 $68,540
Long Beach 1900 $68,540
Hayward 860 $73,070
Oakland 860 $73,070
San Francisco 860 $73,070
Carlsbad 260 $81,360
San Diego 260 $81,360
San Jose 250 $75,780
Sunnyvale 250 $75,780
Santa Clara 250 $75,780
Ontario 150 $74,910
Riverside 150 $74,910
San Bernardino 150 $74,910
Arcade 80 $60,350
Roseville 80 $60,350
Sacramento 80 $60,350
Arden 80 $60,350
Oxnard 80 $75,110
Ventura 80 $75,110
Thousand Oaks 80 $75,110
Fresno 30 $78,710
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 220 $75,750
Aurora 220 $75,750
Denver 220 $75,750
Boulder 130 $52,270
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bridgeport 130 $47,660
Norwalk 130 $47,660
Stamford 130 $47,660
East Hartford 90 $66,710
Hartford 90 $66,710
West Hartford 90 $66,710
New Haven 60 $64,430
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 280 $60,050
Fort Lauderdale 280 $60,050
Miami 280 $60,050
Tampa 80 $70,280
Clearwater 80 $70,280
St. Petersburg 80 $70,280
Jacksonville 70 $48,200
Bradenton 70 $63,130
Sarasota 70 $63,130
North Port 70 $63,130
Fort Myers N/A $56,190
Cape Coral N/A $56,190
Sanford N/A $70,660
Kissimmee N/A $70,660
Orlando N/A $70,660
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 500 $64,620
Sandy Springs 500 $64,620
Atlanta 500 $64,620
Dalton 30 $62,050
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 40 $50,000
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City N/A $64,660
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington 40 $67,670
Peoria 40 $68,530
Rockford N/A $57,540
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 180 $71,000
Anderson 180 $71,000
Carmel 180 $71,000
Goshen 160 $58,790
Elkhart 160 $58,790
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dubuque 50 $56,030
West Des Moines 40 $56,100
Des Moines 40 $56,100
Cedar Rapids N/A $85,570
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita N/A $50,550
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 30 $57,780
Lexington 30 $57,780
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 180 $82,360
Metairie 180 $82,360
Baton Rouge 30 $56,500
Lake Charles N/A $38,410
Thibodaux N/A $72,410
Houma N/A $72,410
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 40 $60,720
Portland 40 $60,720
Auburn N/A $46,100
Lewiston N/A $46,100
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 200 $56,480
Columbia 200 $56,480
Baltimore 200 $56,480
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 5410 $83,920
Warren 5410 $83,920
Detroit 5410 $83,920
Wyoming 510 $56,280
Grand Rapids 510 $56,280
Niles 90 $78,070
Benton Harbor 90 $78,070
Ann Arbor 80 $66,110
Monroe 60 $61,960
Flint 40 $68,160
East Lansing 30 $54,740
Lansing 30 $54,740
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 30 $39,340
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $76,330
Henderson N/A $76,330
Las Vegas N/A $76,330
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 40 $72,800
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 220 $73,540
Niagara Falls 110 $50,820
Buffalo 110 $50,820
Cheektowaga 110 $50,820
Albany 80 $87,860
Schenectady 80 $87,860
Troy 80 $87,860
Syracuse 40 N/A
Rome N/A $59,730
Utica N/A $59,730
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greensboro 230 $72,920
High Point 230 $72,920
Morganton 130 $64,460
Lenoir 130 $64,460
Hickory 130 $64,460
Raleigh 100 $73,190
Salem 50 $76,630
Winston 50 $76,630
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 420 $55,460
Elyria 420 $55,460
Columbus 270 $67,320
Akron 60 $56,610
Toledo 40 $64,760
Dayton N/A $67,950
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 120 $52,200
Tulsa 50 $54,340
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 30 $39,240
Redmond N/A $38,500
Bend N/A $38,500
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 210 $64,610
Reading 60 $76,430
Barre 50 $47,610
Hazleton 50 $47,610
Wilkes 50 $47,610
Scranton 50 $47,610
Harrisburg N/A $70,720
Carlisle N/A $70,720
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 70 $35,380
Carolina 70 $35,380
San Juan 70 $35,380
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mauldin 420 N/A
Anderson 420 N/A
Greenville 420 N/A
Columbia N/A $73,020
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 30 $32,150
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 140 $43,070
Murfreesboro 140 $43,070
Davidson 140 $43,070
Nashville 140 $43,070
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 370 $60,190
Fort Worth 370 $60,190
Dallas 370 $60,190
The Woodlands 260 $64,410
Sugar Land 260 $64,410
Houston 260 $64,410
Beaumont 110 N/A
Port Arthur 110 N/A
Round Rock N/A $44,200
Austin N/A $44,200
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 130 $58,560
Orem 80 $49,710
Provo 80 $49,710
Clearfield 40 $46,850
Ogden 40 $46,850
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 80 $61,900
Burlington 80 $61,900
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 90 $52,220
Radford N/A $53,110
Christiansburg N/A $53,110
Blacksburg N/A $53,110
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 320 $77,570
Tacoma 320 $77,570
Seattle 320 $77,570
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 180 $63,830
Waukesha 180 $63,830
Milwaukee 180 $63,830
Madison 150 $59,490
Green Bay 70 $47,660
Neenah 60 $53,940
Oshkosh 60 $53,940
Appleton N/A $57,630

Most Popular Industries for :
Industrial Designers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 9,020 28% $60,370
Business Management 3,410 10% $63,940
Miscellaneous Manufacturing 2,560 8% $51,750
Machinery 2,390 7% $52,910
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 2,220 6% $68,990
Durable Goods Wholesale 1,860 5% $60,510
Plastics And Rubber 1,100 3% $52,410
Furniture 1,020 3% $46,650
Office Services And Staffing 970 3% $71,370
Electrical Appliance 790 2% $60,880
Electronics And Computer 680 2% $62,950
Traditional Publishing 580 1% $48,640
Paper 530 1% $55,540
Non-durable Goods Wholesale 520 1% $52,900
Online Wholesale 510 1% $60,410
Metal Products 470 1% $56,750
Carpet And Household Fabric 430 1% $39,200
Printing 390 1% $39,130
Wood Products Manufacturing 340 1% $46,820
Non-store Retailers 330 1% $56,190
Furniture Stores 320 1% $39,000
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Results:  8
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Los Angeles
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  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
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  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Industrial Designers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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