Industrial designers are tasked with combining their artistic talents with engineering principles to create a concept for manufactured products. Attending industrial designer schools will grant you with a degree and skills to excel in the world of design. Within the amorphous field of industrial design, an array of opportunities and positions are available for up-and-coming designers; this creative industry is constantly evolving technologically into new and unexplored terrain.
Automobiles, toys, home appliances and most everything that consumers use on a daily basis are imagined by industrial designers. Using imagination, business savvy and technological prowess, designers working in entry level positions can ascend the business ladder to leadership and consulting roles.
Industrial Design Positions
- Junior Industrial Engineer: An entry level position, junior industrial engineers will delve into market research, presenting material, crafting concept designs and product sketches to aid the creation of the final product. Junior engineers will work as teams under a supervisory senior designer.
- CAD Draughtsperson or Draftsperson: Those that are computer savvy may consider computer-aided design (CAD) drafting. The draughtsperson will acquire knowledge of software programs to develop product blueprints.
- Mechanical Design Engineer: A mechanical design engineer will bring their technical proficiency and mathematical expertise to ensure functionality. They may assist industrial designers by drawing up schematics and offering scientific input.
- Senior Product Developer: A design team leader supervises design teams and is responsible for the overall success and completion of projects. The leader acts as a liaison between the many designers, engineers and consultants to add their unique finesse to the project. After years of experience, industrial designers geared toward advancement may also consider taking on the department head position. This task requires all-encompassing oversight of the team and the development of the product, as well as helping to decide what products are created. The department head position is often available at large manufacturing firms and design consultancy.
- Design Consultant: By building up a network of like-minded professional contacts in the design industry, seasoned product designers have the opportunity to move toward consulting work. Consultants assist design teams by proffering valuable product design acumen to manufacturing firms
Future of Design
As long as consumer demand increases, then so shall the need for greater numbers of industrial designers. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics’ website, industrial design employment is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020.
The concept of open-ended design incorporates a novel production philosophy to the industrial design fray. Companies are gaining interest in what would happen if the design process was left open-ended and unfinished so that the eventual user of the item can be a part of its custom design process. Cutting-edge 3-D printing technology and new manufacturing systems will introduce an unprecedented level of customization to the design process.