Industrial Designers


  1. Description

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Calvin Klein may have designed your jeans, but who designed the chair you’re sitting on? Industrial designers work behind the scenes to shape everyday products, from food packaging and appliances to toys and cars.

While their work may not seem glamorous, they serve a very vital function -- and they make better money than most other types of designers, too.

Industrial designers work with engineers to design everyday goods, most of them mass produced.

Did You Know?

Most industrial designers concentrate on a specialty within a specialty, such as kitchen appliances or auto interiors.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Sketch design ideas
  • Use computer-aided design programs
  • Create samples or working models
  • Know materials inside and out
  • Adapt your ideas to meet budget and other limits
  • Test your designs
  • Work as part of a team
  • Meet with engineers, clients, and others

It Helps To Be...

Creative, yet practical. Industrial designers create products that are more than just nice to look at; they need to be inexpensive to mass produce and user-friendly. You’ll also need the communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills to work well with engineers.

Make High School Count

  • Volunteer to build sets and props for your school’s theater arts productions. You’ll learn a few things about design as well as materials.
  • Do your best in science so you’ll have a strong foundation to build on in college.
  • Art class will help you develop the eye for design and detail that you’ll need. Work on your sketching skills, too. They’ll come in handy on the job.
  • Sign-up for computer-aided drafting and design.
  • Learn what tools and materials can do in shop classes.
  • Work hard in math, including geometry. Measurement and proportion are fundamental to good design.

Did You Know?

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City is the only museum in the U.S. devoted only to historic and contemporary design, including industrial design.