With a concern for practicality and efficiency, as well as an appreciation for aesthetics, industrial designers must be part engineer and part artist. A bachelor's degree in engineering, architecture or industrial design can qualify you for an entry-level position in this field.
Industrial designers create products that are both visually appealing and user-friendly by combining artistic and engineering insight with a keen sense of business development. These professionals observe, model and test their designs, for items like furniture and appliances, to make them optimal. Industrial designers usually need to hold a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field for entry-level employment. Basic art and design skills are also a must for this career.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree related to industrial design, architecture or engineering|
|Other Requirements||Proficiency with computer-aided design software|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||2%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$67,130*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Industrial Designer Education Requirements
Virtually all entry-level positions for industrial designers require a bachelor's degree in industrial design, engineering, architecture or a similar field. Prospective industrial designers may be required to possess basic art and design skills before entering into a bachelor's degree program. Additionally, industrial designers may choose to pursue a master's degree in business in order to gain a broader understanding of how the products they create will coincide with successful company strategy.
Industrial design programs seek to achieve the proper balance between practicality and aesthetic pleasure. They investigate the optimal ways to design virtually any type of product, including computer interfaces, appliances, furniture, transportation and recreational items. Students constantly observe, model and test their creations. Coursework may include graphic and industrial design basics, modern manufacturing, design visualization, environmental design and human design interaction. Familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software is strongly emphasized.
Industrial Designer Career Information
Industrial designers can find positions in design, manufacturing and architectural firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for industrial designers was expected to grow by 2% from 2014-2024. The BLS reported that the median annual wage for industrial and commercial designers was $67,130 in May 2015, with the lowest-paid 10% earning $37,630 or less and the highest-paid 10% earning $104,730 or more.
With a bachelor's degree and strong art and design skills, you may be suited for a career as an industrial designer. Training for this field includes computer-aided design, manufacturing and design interaction. Employment opportunities for industrial designers are projected to grow at a slower rate than the national average for all occupations through the year 2024.