Overview

A bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or engineering is usually required for most entry-level industrial design jobs. It is also important for industrial designers to have a professional portfolio with examples of their best design projects. Most design programs include the courses that industrial designers need in design: sketching, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), industrial materials and processes, and manufacturing methods.

Many schools require successful completion of some basic art and design courses before entry into a bachelor's degree program. Applicants also may need to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs by collecting examples of their designs from classroom projects, internships, or other experiences. Students can use these examples of their work to demonstrate their design skills when applying for jobs and bidding on contracts for work.

An increasing number of designers are also getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to gain business skills. Business skills help designers understand how to fit their designs into a firm’s overall business plan.

Industrial designers typically demonstrate their knowledge and skill by promoting their best designs from previous projects. Work experience is another way to build a good reputation and establish expertise in an industrial design specialty.

Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. Many teachers continue to consult privately or operate small design studios in addition to teaching. Some experienced designers open their own design firms.

What are Industrial Designers like?

Artistic

Based on our pool of users, industrial designers tend to be predominately artistic people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Industrial Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 357 Sokanu users

Are Industrial Designers happy?

69%Happy

Industrial designers rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 69th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Industrial Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Industrial Designers

The most common degree held by industrial designers is Fine Arts. 4% of industrial designers had a degree in fine arts before becoming industrial designers. That is over 2 times the average across all careers. Graphic Design graduates are the second most common among industrial designers, representing 3% of industrial designers in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.9 times the average.

Industrial Designer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Industrial Designer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of industrial designers % of population Multiple
Fine Arts 4.2% 1.9% 2.2×
Graphic Design 2.5% 1.3% 1.9×
Mechanical Engineering 1.7% 1.6% 1.0×
Interior Design 1.7% 0.4% 3.8×
Commercial Art And Graphic Design 1.4% 0.3% 4.7×
Architecture 1.4% 0.5% 2.8×
Business Management And Administration 1.1% 6.4% 0.2×
Computer Science 1.1% 2.7% 0.4×

Industrial Designer Education Levels

52% of industrial designers have a bachelor's degree. 44% of industrial designers have an associate's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 1%
Associate's degree 44%
Bachelor's degree 52%
Master's degree 3%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become an Industrial Designer

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

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