Industrial design portrays a critical part in manufacturing, technology and innovation. Industrial design pioneer Raymond Loewy once stated that simplified design would make the comforts of civilized life available to an ever-increasing number of Americans. Combining art, business, and engineering, industrial designers develop the ideas for manufactured products, such as toys, cars, and home appliances that people use in their everyday lives. They focus on the user experience in creating function and style for a particular appliance or gadget.
Industrial designers usually concentrate their efforts on a specific product category. While others design medical equipment, others work on consumer electronics products such as smartphones or laptops. In the hospital, industrial designers have worked on teams to improve the way of interaction between staff and patients inside the emergency room. They may work with market research analysts to develop campaigns to market new product models to consumers. Some are capable of developing modern concepts for new furniture, housewares, bicycles or snowboards. Industrial designers under manufacturing firms assist in creating the commercial look and feel through their designs that highlight the brand of the company.
With modern hardware such as three-dimensional printers, industrial engineers can now maximize the use of two-dimensional or three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) software for sketching ideas and turning it into real models. The CAD software makes it easier for industrial engineers to store and perform changes on their model design and fabrication with alternative options. Industrial engineers could make their marks on the field of advanced manufacturing that include emerging technologies such as nano manufacturing, industrial robotics, and energy efficient manufacturing.
Why Become an Industrial Designer
Employers usually prefer a bachelor’s degree in architecture, industrial design or engineering for entry-level industrial designers, along with an electronic portfolio of their best design projects. Experienced industrial designers in large firms could advance as a chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers choose to become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities while other experienced designers open their own design firms.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a projected growth of four percent for the employment of industrial designers from 2012 to 2022, which is slower than the average for all occupations. The BLS expects that the insatiable consumer demand for new products and products style would make sure that there are job opportunities for industrial designers. Salary reports show that the mean annual wage for the employed industrial designers would be approximately $59,610 as of May 2012.
Industrial Designer Work Environment
With most industrial designers working full time, their usual workspaces often include computers and other office equipment for formulating designs and communicating with clients, drafting tables for sketching designs, and conference rooms with whiteboards for brainstorming with other business colleagues. Although industrial designers work mostly in offices, they may travel to design centers, testing facilities, clients' exhibit sites, consumer homes or workplaces, and other manufacturing locations. Appropriate protective equipment should be necessary within danger zones of manufacturing premises. Overtime is minimal and will only be possible if clients have provided very strict deadlines.