Design & Architecture
Industrial Designers develop the concepts and designs for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys.
What does an Industrial Designer do?
Industrial Designers develop the concepts and designs for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine design and engineering skills to make products that people use every day.
As an industrial designer, you would:
- prepare sketches of ideas, detailed drawings, illustrations, artwork, or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided design equipment
- confer with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products
- modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends
- direct and coordinate the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches
- evaluate the feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics
- present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval, and discuss any modifications.
Key skills and interests
To become an industrial designer, you would need:
- creativity and practical design skills
- critical thinking and complex problem solving skills
- good verbal and written communication skills
- an understanding of manufacturing processes
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time role, you would usually work a standard number of hours. If you are self-employed or work for an industrial design consultancy, you may need to meet with clients outside of standard business hours.
Industrial designers work in offices in a variety of industries. You would work primarily in an office, and use a computer a lot of the time. You might also travel to testing facilities, design centres, users’ homes or workplaces, or work in places where the product is manufactured.
How to become an Industrial Designer?
Entry Level Education
To become an industrial designer you usually have to complete a degree in design, engineering or industrial design at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, physics and industrial design / technology would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
After gaining some industry experience, graduates may qualify for full membership of the Design Institute of Australia. Student, graduate or associate membership may also be available prior to meeting the requirements for full membership. Graduates may also be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.
Consumer demand for new products and new product styles should sustain the demand for industrial designers.
Employment in local manufacturing industries is projected to experience a slight decline. Employment of industrial designers who design precision instruments and medical equipment is likely to grow more rapidly. Both areas require a high degree of technical ability and design sophistication. Products in these areas also require detailed specifications and precise equipment manufacturing because of the delicate uses of the finished product.