Commercial and Industrial Designers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Weapons Engineer
  • Weapons Designer
  • Toy Maker
  • Toy Designer
  • Tile Designer
  • Textile Designer
  • Surfboard Designer
  • Stained Glass Window Designer
  • Stained Glass Artist
  • Snowboard Designer
show all

What They Do

  • Read publications, attend showings, and study competing products and design styles and motifs to obtain perspective and generate design concepts.
  • Develop industrial standards and regulatory guidelines.
  • Advise corporations on issues involving corporate image projects or problems.
  • Supervise assistants' work throughout the design process.
  • Design graphic material for use as ornamentation, illustration, or advertising on manufactured materials and packaging or containers.
  • Coordinate the look and function of product lines.
  • Fabricate models or samples in paper, wood, glass, fabric, plastic, metal, or other materials, using hand or power tools.
  • Participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.
  • Research production specifications, costs, production materials and manufacturing methods and provide cost estimates and itemized production requirements.
  • Develop manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ISC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Preparation Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $74,780 with most people making between $38,900 and $116,140

Outlook

0.57%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 5,300 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,600 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 30 openings due to growth and about 130 replacement openings for approximately 160 total annual openings.