Innovators Guide



see State Job Trends for regional occupational outlook information

Industrial Designer Training and Qualifications

A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level commercial and industrial design positions. Experience through internships and a good portfolio of work are also important for jobseekers to have.

Education and training. A bachelor's degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is required for most entry-level commercial and industrial design jobs. Coursework includes principles of design, sketching, computer-aided design, industrial materials and processes, manufacturing methods, and some classes in engineering, physical science, mathematics, psychology, and anthropology. Many programs also include internships at design or manufacturing firms.

Because of the growing emphasis on strategic design and how products fit into a firm's overall business plan, an increasing number of designers are pursuing a master's degree in business administration to gain business skills.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 300 postsecondary colleges, universities, and private institutes with programs in art and design. About 40 of these schools award a bachelor�s degree in industrial design. Many schools require the successful completion of 1 year of basic art and design courses before entry into a bachelor's degree program. Applicants also may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Other qualifications. Creativity and technical knowledge are crucial in this occupation. People in this field must have a strong sense of the esthetic—an eye for color and detail and a sense of balance and proportion. Employers expect new designers to know computer-aided design software, but despite the advancement of this software, sketching ability remains important. Designers must also understand the technical aspects of how products function. The deciding factor in getting a job often is a good portfolio—examples of a person's best work.

Designers must be imaginative and persistent and must be able to communicate their ideas visually, verbally, and in writing. Because tastes and styles can change quickly, designers need to be well read, open to new ideas and influences, and quick to react to changing trends. Problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently and under pressure also are important traits. People in this field need self-discipline to start projects on their own, to budget their time, and to meet deadlines and production schedules.

As strategic design becomes more important, employers will seek designers with project management skills and knowledge of accounting, marketing, quality assurance, purchasing, and strategic planning. Good business sense and sales ability are important, especially for those who freelance or run their own business.

Advancement. Beginning commercial and industrial designers usually receive on-the-job training and normally need a few years of training before they can advance to higher level positions. Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers leave the occupation to become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. Many faculty members continue to consult privately or operate small design studios to complement their classroom activities. Some experienced designers open their own design firms.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

Find related resources below:



Industrial Designer Job Outlook     Industrial Designer Income

 

Innovators Guide Home
Innovation Topics

More data on select careers:
Income Data
EMPLOYMENT DATA
TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS

Education Resources:
Colleges of Art & Design

Find More Job Outlooks below:

Health Guide USA    Assessor Links USA    All Things Political    Dental Guide USA    Active Canines    Doomsday Guide

Copyright @ 2008 - 2010
Use of this website is expressly subject to the various terms and conditions set forth in our
User Agreement/Disclaimer  and Privacy Policy