Commercial and Industrial Designers

Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.

Median Annual Wage: $64,620

Education: Bachelor's degree (52%); Associate's degree (25%); Some college, no degree (11%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Design Engineer; Project Engineer; Designer; Engineer; Product Engineer; Mechanical Designer; Industrial Designer; Product Designer; Product Development Engineer; Product Design Engineer

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Commercial and Industrial Designers.

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  • Confer with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products.
  • Modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends.
  • Direct and coordinate the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches.
  • Evaluate feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.
  • Present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval and discuss need for modification.
  • Develop manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.
  • Investigate product characteristics such as the product's safety and handling qualities, its market appeal, how efficiently it can be produced, and ways of distributing, using and maintaining it.
  • Research production specifications, costs, production materials and manufacturing methods and provide cost estimates and itemized production requirements.
  • Participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.
  • Fabricate models or samples in paper, wood, glass, fabric, plastic, metal, or other materials, using hand or power tools.
  • Coordinate the look and function of product lines.
  • Design graphic material for use as ornamentation, illustration, or advertising on manufactured materials and packaging or containers.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Commercial and Industrial Designers.

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Commercial and Industrial Designers.

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