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Hands-On Design Jobs

If you are interested in finding a job that allows you to work in a hands-on capacity with design, there are several diverse options from which to choose. You'll see that education requirements range from a high school diploma to graduate degrees, and you can also read about the common duties associated with each.

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Hands-On Design Careers

Job-seekers who want to work in design and enjoy working with their hands may be interested in pursuing a career path that allows them to do both. Luckily, there are a number of diverse careers that require a sense of design and have a strong hands-on element. We will look at five of these options below and discuss the educational requirements for each career as well as some of the duties associated with these jobs.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Architect $76,930 4%
Floral Designer $25,850 -6%
Interior Designer $49,810 5%
Fashion Designer $65,170 3%
Industrial Designer $67,790 (commercial and industrial designers) 5% (commercial and industrial designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

Information About Hands-On Design Jobs

Architect

As an architect, you will work with clients who are in need of designs for new construction projects, like residential homes, school or government buildings, and office spaces, to name a few possibilities. It is your job to listen to the client's wants and needs and then create a detailed scaled drawing of the structure, which can be done by hand or with computer software. Architects are also responsible for making sure that the designs are closely followed during the construction process and working with building professionals like contractors and construction managers. To become an architect, you will either need to complete a five-year bachelor of architecture program or a master's degree in architecture before being eligible for professional licensure.

Floral Designer

Floral designers, or florists, are creative professionals who work with all types of flowers and greenery, both live and artificial, and create bouquets, displays, and other types of arrangements. You may design arrangements according to the specific requirements of a client or design arrangements of your own creation. This job is extremely hands-on, as it is necessary to individually place each flower, cut it down to the correct size, and possibly add additional décor like ribbons or accessories. To become a floral designer, you will typically only need a high school diploma and then receive on the job training.

Interior Designer

Interior designers are responsible for designing different types of indoor spaces, like rooms in a home, office spaces, libraries, and a wide variety of other areas. These designers work closely with their clients to understand what they want in the interior space and what kind of design style they are interested in portraying. There are a number of hands-on components to this job, as designers must measure the areas, sketch designs, locate furnishings and décor, and may play a role in actually setting up the finished space. To become an interior designer, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in interior design.

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers work in the clothing industry, which includes men's, women's, and children's clothing, as well as shoes and accessories. Some fashion designers own their own company and have their own fashion brand, while others may work for larger companies. Fashion design requires a strong hands-on element, as designers must select fabrics and materials for new designs and work with these fabrics to create one-of-a-kind pieces to present to potential clients, consumers, or more senior designers. To become a fashion designer, having a bachelor's degree in the field or in fashion merchandising is usually required.

Industrial Designer

As an industrial designer, you will likely work in the design and manufacturing of new products in a number of different industries, from cars to toys to appliances. After working with the client to understand the specifications for the new design, you will conduct research about the potential customer base and figure out what they need in a product before sketching out designs and creating physical prototypes. The industrial designer is hands-on throughout the entire design and creation process, and they also work with other professionals like engineers and manufacturers to determine the viability of their product. To become an industrial designer, you will need a bachelor's degree in a field like industrial design or engineering.

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