Industrial designers are responsible for creating manufactured consumer products, such as automobiles, computer hardware, consumer electronics and medical equipment. They merge their knowledge of art, business and engineering and produce ideas for goods and services, and determine how they will be consumed, how the company will market them and what components could be utilised to maximise functionality.
Duties and responsibilities
- Brainstorm new product designs that satisfy consumer demand and meet market standards
- Develop sketches, prototypes, drafts and renderings that match manufacturers’ desires
- Present concept designs with decision-makers and team members to perfect the product
- Identify sourcing components and negotiate prices to rein in production costs
- Collaborate with engineers, marketers and salespersons to evaluate design ideas
- Modify and improve concept designs after conferring with clients and other experts
- Outline production procedures that enhance product quality and improve the process
- Direct construction and installation that mirror drawings and specifications
- Establish industrial standards and ensure the company complies with government regulations
- Research competing products that could rival your proposed products
- Study the latest industry material to learn the latest techniques, trends and cost-saving measures
- Attend trade shows, industry conferences and other events that are necessary to your work
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Standard business hours
An industrial designer will generally complete a 40-hour workweek during regular office hours. However, there will be many occasions where you will work evenings and weekends, such as to participate in meetings, sit down with clients, work in laboratories to design products, or peruse research material.
There are two primary locations where an industrial designer will work: the office (where you meet with clients and fellow employees) and the laboratory (where you will design products, perform testing, remedy problems and collaborate with team members).
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor’s degree in industrial design or related field
To become an industrial designer, you will need to possess a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, though there are many employers who accept degrees in architecture or engineering.
Enrolling in coursework before and during your career can help you develop and hone your skills in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), 3D modelling, sketching and graphic design.
As an entry-level industrial designer, your work will concentrate on specific tasks or items, such as ceramic style, lighting design, safety development and packaging development. Eventually, you can move on to management and executive positions that work directly with heads of companies to garner contracts, communicate with investors or manage the overall business.