Industrial Design Careers

Make a living AND make a difference.

What do industrial designers do?

Industrial design is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer. Graduates can be hired into a corporate environment as a staff designer or work in a small design firm with a diverse clientele. Some industrial design graduates have worked as freelancers or contract with design firms and corporations.

Industrial designers develop concepts and specifications by collecting, analyzing and synthesizing data, always guided by the special requirements of the client or manufacturer. They are trained to prepare clear and concise recommendations through drawings, models and verbal descriptions. Industrial designers sketch design ideas and use computer-aided design programs to create samples or working models.

Industrial design isn't just about artistry; to be a successful industrial designer you must know materials inside and out, have the ability to adapt your ideas to meet budget and other limits, know how to test your designs, and work as part of a team with engineers, clients and others.

Students are often drawn to industrial design because of their skills in problem solving, 2-D concepts, computer-aided design, model making and design theory. To thrive as an industrial designer, you must develop expertise in mathematics, graphic design, research and documentation, anthropometrics, verbal presentations, and mechanical drawing.

What are some typical occupations for industrial designers?

  • Industrial designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Product designer
  • Interface designer
  • Product developer
  • Exhibit designer

Where are Kendall graduates working?

  • Attwood
  • Steelcase
  • Herman Miller
  • Milsco
  • ETS Tan (tanning beds)
  • Haworth
  • Harley Davidson
  • Winnebago
  • Whirlpool
  • Attwood
  • Bissell
  • Paoli Furniture
  • Henry Dreyfuss Associates
  • Carrom Company
  • TV Guide Interactive
  • American Seating Company
  • Fredricks Design
  • Tiger Studio
  • Exhibit Design Consultants
  • Quality Bicycle Products
  • New Balance Shoes
  • Flexsteel
  • Puma
  • IDEO
  • Synergy Product Development
  • Tiara Yachts

Salary information

The average starting salary for industrial design graduates can range from $30,000 to $41,000. Employment-related websites

  • (Industrial Design Society of America; offers student memberships)
  • (career/job site and salary survey)

Get involved

Join the IDSA student chapter

Make it
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