What Do Commercial and Industrial Designers Do?
Various industries rely on commercial and industrial designers to create the products people use every day. This profession involves an in depth knowledge of art, business and engineering. Designers generally focus on the user experience when creating the style and function for a specific appliance, gadget or structure.There is expected to be a significant growth in this field across the United States. There is expected to be a 4% annual growth, which results in approximately 1,210 job openings each year.
Commercial and Industrial Designers Skills and Abilities
In order to effectively create products, such as home appliances, toys and cars, you will need a thorough understanding of design principles, tools and techniques involved in the creation of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings and models. The knowledge of the practical usage of technology and engineering science is also essential. This includes applying principles, techniques, equipment and procedures to the design and production of various goods and services. Some other tasks you should expect to be involved with include:
- Build templates, patterns or models
- Work with others to develop or refine designs
- Create promotional strategies or plans
- Conduct research to inform designs, art or other work
- Estimate project or production costs
- Monitor the current trends
Commercial and Industrial Designers Duties
As a commercial and industrial designer you must imagine how consumers might use a product and test various designs with consumers to see how each design works and looks. You will often work with production experts, engineers and market researchers to find out if their designs are feasible. You will receive input from your colleagues’ professional expertise and continue developing their designs. Some of the other tasks associated with the position include:
- Utilize computer software to develop virtual models of different designs
- Develop physical prototypes of their designs
- Evaluate materials and production costs to determine manufacturing specifications
- Collaborate with other specialists such as manufacturers to determine whether their design concepts will fill a market demand at an acceptable cost
- Evaluate product appearance, function and safety to determine if a design is practical
- Demonstrate prototypes and present designs and to clients for approval
Commercial and Industrial Designers Tools and Technology
Computers are a major tool for commercial and industrial designers. They utilize two-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software to illustrate ideas, because making changes and showing alternatives is easier with computers. Designers are relying more on three-dimensional CAD software because they can transform their two-dimensional designs into models, using three-dimensional printers. If you work for manufacturers, you may also use computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software to develop specialized machine-readable information that tells other machines how to build the product.
Education and Training for Commercial and Industrial Designers
Most commercial and industrial designers who enter this profession typically have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, design or architecture. It is also important for designers to have an electronic portfolio featuring examples of their best designs. While in school, some of the courses you will need include:
- computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- Industrial processes and materials
- Manufacturing methods
Commercial and Industrial Designers Salary
The median yearly salary for commercial and industrial designers is $64,600 a year. The lowest 10% make around $37,000 a year while the top 10% can make over $100,000 each year. What you earn depends primarily on the state you live in.
Commercial and Industrial Designers Jobs by Geography
California, Michigan and Florida have the biggest concentration of commercial and industrial designers by population. However, the states who pay the most on average are Michigan, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. You need to look at all these various factors in order to determine the best location for launching your career as a designer.