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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover N/A $70,760
Birmingham N/A $70,760
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 180 $67,740
Mesa 180 $67,740
Phoenix 180 $67,740
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 2250 $64,340
Anaheim 2250 $64,340
Long Beach 2250 $64,340
Hayward 720 $73,600
San Francisco 720 $73,600
Oakland 720 $73,600
San Jose 310 $77,880
Sunnyvale 310 $77,880
Santa Clara 310 $77,880
San Diego 260 $92,460
Carlsbad 260 $92,460
San Bernardino 150 $79,350
Riverside 150 $79,350
Ontario 150 $79,350
Oxnard 70 $64,660
Ventura 70 $64,660
Thousand Oaks 70 $64,660
Arcade 60 $62,640
Sacramento 60 $62,640
Roseville 60 $62,640
Arden 60 $62,640
Fresno 30 $84,710
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 240 $74,860
Aurora 240 $74,860
Denver 240 $74,860
Boulder N/A $57,690
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Norwalk 130 $50,840
Stamford 130 $50,840
Bridgeport 130 $50,840
East Hartford 60 $69,650
West Hartford 60 $69,650
Hartford 60 $69,650
New Haven 50 $65,880
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 280 $59,370
Miami 280 $59,370
West Palm Beach 280 $59,370
Tampa 110 $59,450
St. Petersburg 110 $59,450
Clearwater 110 $59,450
Jacksonville 80 $54,850
Bradenton 70 $63,820
North Port 70 $63,820
Sarasota 70 $63,820
Kissimmee N/A $69,880
Sanford N/A $69,880
Orlando N/A $69,880
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 510 $64,090
Sandy Springs 510 $64,090
Atlanta 510 $64,090
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City N/A $64,130
Idaho Falls N/A $84,110
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 70 $53,970
Peoria 60 $67,300
Bloomington 60 $68,010
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 210 $66,730
Anderson 210 $66,730
Carmel 210 $66,730
Goshen 120 $56,720
Elkhart 120 $56,720
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waterloo 30 N/A
Cedar Falls 30 N/A
Dubuque 30 $54,470
West Des Moines 30 $58,830
Des Moines 30 $58,830
Cedar Rapids N/A $84,400
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita N/A $55,980
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 270 $76,010
Metairie 270 $76,010
Baton Rouge 50 $62,740
Thibodaux N/A $73,640
Houma N/A $73,640
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 50 $65,500
Portland 50 $65,500
Auburn N/A $45,270
Lewiston N/A $45,270
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 190 $55,740
Columbia 190 $55,740
Baltimore 190 $55,740
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Gardner N/A $35,660
Leominster N/A $35,660
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 4580 $83,990
Detroit 4580 $83,990
Dearborn 4580 $83,990
Wyoming 450 $56,680
Grand Rapids 450 $56,680
Ann Arbor 360 $67,650
Niles 90 $78,300
Benton Harbor 90 $78,300
Muskegon 70 $49,630
Kalamazoo 70 $63,770
Portage 70 $63,770
Monroe 60 $60,320
Flint 40 $63,200
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 30 $67,280
Biloxi 30 $67,280
Gulfport 30 $67,280
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Reno 50 $76,870
Paradise N/A $74,120
Las Vegas N/A $74,120
Henderson N/A $74,120
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 40 $70,460
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque N/A $52,860
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 240 $75,590
Niagara Falls 100 $44,480
Cheektowaga 100 $44,480
Buffalo 100 $44,480
Schenectady 70 $87,770
Troy 70 $87,770
Albany 70 $87,770
Syracuse 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greensboro 210 $71,510
High Point 210 $71,510
Morganton 100 $60,970
Lenoir 100 $60,970
Hickory 100 $60,970
Raleigh 80 $51,770
Salem 50 $76,300
Winston 50 $76,300
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 350 $65,930
Elyria 350 $65,930
Columbus 340 $66,140
Dayton 90 $61,090
Akron 70 $60,100
Toledo N/A $62,600
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 100 $52,810
Tulsa 70 $78,280
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Redmond N/A $40,180
Bend N/A $40,180
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 170 $68,560
Scranton 70 $45,830
Barre 70 $45,830
Wilkes 70 $45,830
Hazleton 70 $45,830
Reading 60 $64,120
Carlisle N/A $70,660
Harrisburg N/A $70,660
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas N/A $34,790
Carolina N/A $34,790
San Juan N/A $34,790
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 260 $79,850
Mauldin 260 $79,850
Anderson 260 $79,850
North Charleston 50 $47,720
Charleston 50 $47,720
Columbia N/A $71,330
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 30 $31,550
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 110 $42,820
Murfreesboro 110 $42,820
Davidson 110 $42,820
Nashville 110 $42,820
Knoxville 50 $57,950
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Houston 310 $79,290
Sugar Land 310 $79,290
The Woodlands 310 $79,290
Arlington 270 $55,800
Dallas 270 $55,800
Fort Worth 270 $55,800
Longview 30 $43,360
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 100 $51,690
Orem 60 $47,090
Provo 60 $47,090
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington N/A $55,830
Burlington N/A $55,830
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 110 $46,330
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 400 $73,690
Tacoma 400 $73,690
Seattle 400 $73,690
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 220 $59,090
West Allis 220 $59,090
Milwaukee 220 $59,090
Madison 110 $60,270
Green Bay 60 $48,860
Sheboygan 50 $63,980
Eau Claire 40 $63,730
Racine 30 $50,720

Most Popular Industries for :
Industrial Designers

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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