Industrial designers make products that look good. They also develop the manufacturing processes to make those products.

If you have strong artistic skills, an eye for design, and like to think outside the box, then becoming an industrial designer is a great career move. You’ll put your creative skills to work in the real world, designing new products that meet customer demand and appeal to potential clients. Using computer aided design (CAD) software and your own two hands, you’ll bring ideas into designs for others will manufacture and sell.

Industrial designers work with engineers to create innovative, functional products. You’ll meet with customers to figure out what they need, and then you’ll create solutions and products addressing those needs. Revising is a huge part of the designing and manufacturing process as you consider customer feedback, budget limitations, and timelines. You might spend hours on a tiny detail, or hold brainstorming sessions with a variety of other employees. Your mathematics and physics skills will also come in handy on a daily basis.

Industrial designers need at least a Bachelor’s degree, and previous experience is always a plus. If you’re a visually creative, artistic person who also loves math, this career is right up your alley.

Also Known As:

Commercial and Industrial Designers

"I love my job as an industrial designer because I enjoy solving problems in the design process.” -Shannon Power, Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc.

Critical Skills


  • CAD or AutoCAD Software
  • Computers
  • Design
  • Drawing
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Model-building Equipment
  • Physics and Mathematics


  • Active Listening
  • Communication - Internal and External
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Decision Making
  • Flexibility
  • Gathering or Getting Information
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Teamwork
  • Working with Technology

Key Responsibilities

  • Prepare sketches, detailed drawings, and blueprints using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or CAD equipment
  • Collaborate with engineering, marketing, or sales departments, or with customers, to evaluate design concepts for products
  • Create and modify working models to conform with standards and instructions
  • Evaluate feasibility of design ideas based on various factors
  • Present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval
  • Investigate product characteristics such as safety, market appeal, efficiency, use, maintenance, and distribution
  • Develop and monitor manufacturing procedures
  • Provide cost estimates and production needs
  • Research and plan new products


  • Product Design/Innovation

How to get this job

Gain leadership and project management skills through experience, develop critical and creative thinking skills.

Next Steps for this job

Gain leadership skills, performance management skills, process/project management skills.

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.