What Training Do You Get at Industrial Design Schools?
Industrial designers combine art, business, and engineering to design the vast array of products we all use. After you complete your training, you can choose to design such diverse products as cars, home appliances, furniture, toys, medical equipment, or house wares. Of course, most designers specialize in just one type of product.
Most entry-level industrial design jobs require a bachelor's degree, although earning a master's degree may expand your job opportunities. If you aren't sure where to start or if industrial design is a perfect fit, consider entering a shorter diploma, certificate, or associate's degree program.
Basic courses typically include:
- Industrial Materials and Processes
- Manufacturing methods
- Principles of design
In most industrial design schools, you must also take classes in:
- Physical Science
All industrial design schools should offer training in computer-aided design (CAD), since this is what most designers now use to create detailed sketches of their ideas. Many training programs also help you find an internship while working towards your diploma.
To get into some schools, you may first need to take some basic art and design courses, since sketches can be required as part of your admissions application. A great way to get the experience needed to wow a dream school is to start off with a certificate or associate's degree and hone your skills--not to mention get a leg up on credit requirements.
Benefits of Attending Industrial Design Schools
While employment in industrial design should grow by 7 percent from 2006-2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition for those jobs can be intense. To enhance your prospects, you need strong training in engineering and CAD. Extensive business expertise also helps a great deal, particularly if you can work well with marketing managers to create new products that meet customers' ever-changing demands.
In 2008, industrial designers earned an mean hourly wage of $29.60, or an median annual salary of $61,580, according to the BLS. With its unique combination of creativity and technical knowledge, an industrial design school may just open up the career of your dreams.