If you’ve ever wanted to create your own product, or have ideas on how to make an existing product better, your future may be in industrial design.

Industrial designers use a unique blend of different fields for their job – business, art, and engineering.  If all of these fields sound interesting to you, consider an accredited program in industrial design for an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career.

Many people who go into this field do so for the love of the challenge it brings.  This stimulating job requires a high level of creativity and logic, as industrial designers are responsible for nearly every manufactured product’s safety, quality, function, and style.  An industrial designer must have a keen eye for the aesthetics – color, style, and proportion.  As with any designer, ideas and styles are constantly changing, and those in this field must keep up on these changes in trends.  Good problem-solving skills and communication of ideas are also important traits to have.

There are many programs available to help you get started.  A bachelor’s degree is the normal requirement for hiring, but many go on and earn their master’s for a better chance of employment.  When you study industrial design, you will take coursework in sketching, principles of design, computer-aided design, manufacturing, and industrial processes and materials.  Other classes may also include mathematics, engineering, psychology, and physical science. 

About 250 American universities, colleges, and private postsecondary institutions have programs in art and design; around forty-five of those offer degrees in industrial design.  In order to determine your artistic ability, you may be required to submit drawings or sketches as a part of your application process.  Many schools have a prerequisite of a satisfactory one-year completion of coursework in basic art and design before they will grant entry into the bachelor’s program. 

However, this hard work should not deter anyone who is serious about industrial design.  The benefits are well worth the work, and the demand for this work is growing.  As the need for safer and higher-quality products rises, so does the need for those who provide them.  The pay is also a fantastic benefit, with median earnings for the United States being $54,560 in May of 2006 according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Of course, individual wages may be higher or lower than this figure, depending upon your position, location, and employer.

Many entry-level positions will give you one to three years of on-the-job training before you can be promoted to a higher-level position.  These include supervisory positions such as chief designer or designer department head.  Some in this field will leave to educate future industrial design students while also operating small design studios.  If you are an entrepreneur, consider opening your own design firm once you have enough experience under your belt.  The possibilities are essentially endless with a degree in industrial design.

To find a program in industrial design near you, search the website of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).  Some schools are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and some are not.  Gather as much information as you can on as many programs as possible in order to make the decision that is best for you, and for your future.

If you are interested in Industrial Design Programs, you may also be interested in finding more information on Graphic Design Programs, Industrial Design Programs, Architecture Programs and Fashion Programs. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.

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