What does an industrial designer do?

Industrial designers adhere to principles of user-friendly design and functionality in their work. They are involved in product development, often working with teams of other professionals to ensure that functionality and style are blended in the final product. Often they choose to tailer their career to a specific area of industrial design, such as furniture or heavy machinery. Industrial designers draft, plan and test products before they are manufactured, making sure that the finished product is both safe and useable before it becomes available to the public. Some of their daily duties may include; drawing up product designs, selecting appropriate materials, running health and safety checks on proposed products and ensuring that budgets are being met.

Tasks:

  • Draw up plans for products and prototypes
  • Select functional and cost effective materials
  • Adhere to a products safety guidelines
  • Adapt to industry related trends and advances

What skills do I need to be an industrial designer?

Being an industrial designer involves working in both a technical and creative capacity. The nature of industrial design work is often project based, which will require the individual designer to work in large groups or teams of designers and industry professionals. Being able to effectively collaborate and incorporate multiple perspectives in a group environment is a must. Being able to adapt to new and improved methods of production, design tools and manufacturing equipment is part of what makes industrial design such a dynamic industry.

Skills/attributes
  • Excellent time management
  • Able to work effectively as part of a team
  • Ability to adapt and change methods of work
  • Training in computer-aided design software

Specialisations

There are many career possibilities within the field of industrial design. With the right skills, experience and education, you can tailor your career path to promote your best qualities as a designer.

Furniture designer

Furniture designers have a unique understanding of the design and manufacturing of furniture. From first draft through to prototyping and manufacture, furniture designers strive to create pieces of furniture that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, safe and comfortable.

Transport designer

Transport designers are responsible for coming up with new and improved design ideas for modes of transportation such as cars, trucks, trams and trains. They implement various planning and testing exercises in the lead up to the manufacturing and roll-out phase.

Sustainable design consultant

Sustainable design consultants focus their practice on promoting or designing products and production processes that are more environmentally sustainable than current industry standards.

Study pathways for industrial designers

There are many study pathways available for someone looking to get a head start in the field of industrial design. You can tailor your study pathway to suit your personal circumstances and desired design specialisation.

Getting Started

Find out more about the core principles and processes of industrial design.

Skill Building

Develop the necessary skills to succeed as an industrial designer in a competitive field.

Professional Development

Gain the qualifications and experience to set you apart from the crowd.

Industry Recognition

Once you have successfully completed your degree and built up your work experience, you may apply for membership with the Design Institute of Australia.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your design career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be strong growth in employment opportunities for industrial designers over the next five years.