What does an Industrial Designer do?

Learn all about Industrial Designer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Industrial Designer.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

An industrial designer is someone who creates designs for products that are going to be manufactured. This can include everything from small household items to large vehicles or machinery. Industrial designers typically have a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field.

Industrial Designer job duties include:

  • Researching and planning design concepts
  • Generating ideas and creating prototypes
  • Liaising with clients and other designers to develop designs
  • Presenting ideas to clients and modifying designs according to their feedback
  • Creating detailed specifications for production
  • Overseeing production of products
  • Testing products before they are launched
  • Evaluating the success of a design once it is in use
  • Amending designs in response to problems that arise during use

Industrial Designer Job Requirements

Most industrial designers have a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field. Many have a master's degree or doctorate. A bachelor's degree program in industrial design typically lasts four years and includes courses in computer-aided design (CAD), engineering, mathematics, and physics. Students also take courses in the liberal arts and sciences, such as English, history, and psychology. Many programs require an internship.

Industrial designers who are self-employed may need to wear many hats, from marketing and sales to accounting and human resources. They must be able to wear many hats because they are responsible for the entire product development process, from initial concept to final production.

Most industrial designers work in specialized design firms, but some find jobs in manufacturing or other industries. Many industrial designers work for firms that provide consulting services to clients in a variety of industries.

Industrial Designer Skills

  • CAD
  • 3D modeling
  • Sketching
  • Rendering
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Materials research
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Ergonomics
  • User experience
  • Packaging design

Related: Top Industrial Designer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Industrial Designer

In order to become an industrial designer, one must first obtain a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a related field. Many industrial designers also have a master's degree in business administration (MBA), which can be helpful for those interested in starting their own design firm. After completing an accredited program, industrial designers must pass a certification exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Once certified, designers can find work in a variety of industries, including furniture, transportation, medical equipment, and consumer electronics.

The job outlook for industrial designers is positive, with a projected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029.* This growth is due in part to an increasing demand for new and innovative products. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, there is a need for designers who can create functional and stylish products that meet the needs of consumers.

If you are interested in becoming an industrial designer, start by researching accredited programs at colleges and universities near you. Once you have obtained your degree, remember to take the NCIDQ exam to become certified. With hard work and dedication, you can begin your career in this exciting and ever-changing field.


Related: Industrial Designer Resume Example

Related: Industrial Designer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)