Industrial Design Career Opportunities

big color ball installationEmployment as an industrial designer fills the need of industry at a variety of levels. For one, designers have the capacity to explore the potential of many materials like wood, metal, plastics, rubber or soft goods, and are trained to equally apply the knowledge to create quality products and provide them with a solid aesthetic appeal and styling that will appeal to a group of users. The other big capacity of the industrial designer is to think empathically about uses and how to discover latent and visible needs for a group of customers. They are specialists in eliciting information from test users and are trained in observing user behavior and applying it to their projects, whether it would be a small product , environments, systems or experiences. In recent years there has been a surge of hiring of industrial designers as digital specialists in UX (user experience design), particularly because the operation with digital tools still reflects largely to the physicality of the world we live in. What makes them well prepared is their ability to establish a unique connection to that experience, and to offer a solution that separates them in a competitive environment.

Designers also have a unique approach on seeing development opportunities and innovation, and can take the pulse of society to find trends and tendencies. Through research and field work they can glimpse beyond local cultures and offer macro solutions to complex societal issues or unique transnational systems or experiences, as they still relate to our interactions with the build world. Their research might lead to understanding color tendencies for the next years, learning how the evolution of our interaction with products in a home environment will be ten years from now, offer a view on the future of transportation in large cities, or design medical devices to help an ever growing number of senior citizens, to name a myriad of possible avenues. Industrial designers investigate solutions that still will be relevant after a few months or even years of development, and can analyze complex systems to offer unique and aesthetically viable solutions.


The Career Path in Industrial Design Can Follow These Routes

Product designer working at a design consulting firm

Product designer in a large manufacturing company

Concept developer for startups and creative agencies

Designer in an engineering consulting firm

Computer Aided Design specialist (CAD), working in conjunction with other engineers and designers

Freelance for in a product development company

Concept developer and rendering expert

Creative thinker for large corporations

Packaging and Point of Purchase Display designer

Automotive and transportation designer

Trend researcher and consultant

Patent developer and inventor

Exhibit designer

Museum designer

Toy designer

Medical device designer

Retail and branding designer

Program director at a brand design agency

Sustainability designer

Soft goods designer

Human Factors and user experience (UX) designer

Material researcher

Lab manager, design director for a Federal Government agency, like NASA

Design thinking specialist for public policy

Consultant on research and innovation