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How to become an industrial designer in Australia: careers in design

Industrial designers are involved during the design and development phase of products. The scope of their work is very large and encompasses everything from surgical equipment through to home wares and furniture. Industrial designers are required to improve functionality, ergonomics and aesthetic appeal of products. They draft designs, choose materials, refine their designs and specify manufacturing methods.
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Being an industrial designer: daily duties

Industrial designers are involved in product development, working with other professionals to ensure functionality and style are blended in product design. They draft, plan and test products to ensure they are safe and usable before becoming available o the public. Other daily duties include drawing product designs, selecting appropriate materials for their designs, running health and safety checks and ensuring budgets are being adhered to.

Tasks:

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

Being an industrial designer: skills for success

Industrial designers need to have both technical and creative skills. As the nature of their work is often project based, they must have the ability to work well with others in large groups or teams, displaying collaborative skills. They need to be able to incorporate the perspectives of others into their work. The ability to adapt to new methods of production, design tools and manufacturing equipment is also essential. Industrial designers need excellent time management skills and the ability to work to deadlines and budgets.
Skills/attributes
  • Excellent time management
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Ability to adapt and change
  • Training in computer aided design software
  • Creative and technical skills
  • Specialised roles within design

    Industrial designers can pursue many different career specialisations, with the right skills, experience and education.
    • Furniture designer
      Furniture designers understand the design and manufacturing processes of furniture. They create furniture that is functional, safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing and are involved in the process from designing drafts through to manufacture.
    • Transport designer
      Transport designers create new and improved designs for cars, trucks, trams and trains. They are involved in various planning and testing exercises before manufacturing and delivery phases of projects.
    • Sustainable design consultant
      Sustainable design consultants design and promote products and production processes with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.

    Educational pathways for industrial designers

    Industrial designers have many study pathways available to them to work in this field. They can tailor pathways to suit design specialisations and personal circumstances.
    • Start your career
      Find a course to teach you about the principles and processes of industrial design.
    • Strengthen your skills
      Improve your chances of success in breaking into the industrial design field with t these necessary skills.
    • Build your resume
      Set yourself apart form the crowd by gaining additional qualifications and experience.
    • Industry requirements
      Once you have finished your degree and have work experience, you can apply to become a member of the Design Institute of Australia.
    • Finding Work
      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.
    • Employment Prospects
      Strong growth in jobs for industrial designers is predicted over the next five years.

    Resources for designers

    Career FAQs makes every effort to ensure the information we provide is correct at the time of publication. We welcome your input to help keep our career profiles as accurate and up to date as possible. All queries and feedback will be taken into consideration as we conduct periodic reviews of our content. Add your voice to the conversation!


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