An industrial designer develops, tests, and presents new ideas for the manufacturing of everyday products. They also study who might use a particular product and design for a better user experience.
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How to Become an Industrial Designer
To gain a career as an industrial designer, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or industrial design to be considered for entry-level positions. An applicant would usually present an electronic portfolio with examples of their best designs when being interviewed for a position.
Job Description of an Industrial Designer
Industrial designers create designs on the computer or on paper and then make prototypes to test the design to be considered for production. They must consider a product’s functionality, safety, and appearance as part of the decision to produce the product. They also analyze the cost of production and materials and work with other specialists to determine if the designed product is reasonable to manufacture. Some industrial designers prefer to specialize in a particular area of design, like bicycles, snowboards, consumer electronics, furniture, or cars. These designers work in offices in different industries or may travel to the place where the product is made.
Industrial Designer Career Video Transcript
Have you ever wanted to redesign your dashboard? With a blend of skills in art, business, and engineering, commercial and industrial designers develop and improve concepts for everyday products— from cars and appliances, to toys and sneakers. These designers take into account the function, appearance, production costs, and usability of products when developing new ideas. Some designers specialize in a type of product, such as bicycles or furniture, but they all make their designs with the client’s project requirements in mind. Their work spaces often have drawing tables to sketch designs, meeting rooms with whiteboards to brainstorm with colleagues, and computers and office equipment to prepare designs and communicate with clients.
Engineers and other experts help industrial designers ensure their designs can actually be made. They may travel to testing facilities and to clients’ and users’ locations to ensure their designs are on track, and visit manufacturing facilities to observe production. Commercial and industrial designers may need to meet with clients on weekends or evenings. Those who are self-employed or work in consulting firms also spend time looking for projects and competing for contracts. A bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is usually required for entry-level positions. An electronic portfolio of design projects is needed to apply for jobs.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Designers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 27-1021.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.