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Industrial Design Colleges

Do you ever find yourself appreciating the design of a product or wondering how a product design came to be? If so, you are appreciating the hard work and effort of an industrial designer. An industrial designer takes a concept and turns it into reality. Creativity, an eye for aesthetically pleasing design, and ingenuity are the backbone of a good industrial designer.

There is virtually no element of life that an industrial designer has not played a part in. Automotive design, cell phone design, computer design, even that new refrigerator you bought all owe their design to an industrial designer. Industrial design is a fast growing and creative field and industrial designers work in a variety of fields. In fact, many industrial designers specialize in manufacturing design, engineering, or architecture.

It takes years of hard work and education to become an industrial designer and a college degree is the entry level requirement for individuals who wish to become an industrial designer. In order to become a good industrial designer, you need to find a good industrial design college.

What is an Industrial Design College?

An industrial design college is an educational facility dedicated to creating industrial designers, individuals who create functional and aesthetically pleasing products that are used by consumers.

Individuals who wish to pursue an education in industrial design should possess creative and analytical abilities. They should also have a strong foundation in art and design. Many design schools require completion of one year of art and design courses before a student can gain admittance to an industrial design program.

It is important when choosing an industrial design college to choose wisely. A good way to narrow down the list is to look at schools that hold Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation. You should also choose a college that offers specializations in other fields and a college with up-to-date technology.

What You Will Learn at an Industrial College

Industrial design students study many subjects during their education. You can expect to study drawing, color theory, art, science, mathematics, behavioral science, industrial design, contextual research methods, computer modeling, manufacturing technology, manufacturing materials, and public speaking.

Employment for Industrial Design Majors

Industrial design majors should expect strong competition for industrial design jobs. Those who possess strong engineering, computer-aided design, and a solid business background stand the best chance at employment.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of industrial designers is as follows: 30 percent manufacturing, 9 percent architecture/engineering/related services, and 8 percent specialized design firms. Employment of industrial designers will increase by 9 percent during the 2008 to 2018 decade.

Industrial Design Salaries

Payscale.com lists the average salary for industrial designers at $34,879 to $82,381. Industrial designers with 20 or more years experience can expect to make $49,285 to $119,168.

Continuing Industrial Design Education

A bachelor’s degree in industrial design is required for employment as an industrial designer. Many industrial designers pursue master’s in business administration while others pursue a master’s degree in industrial design.

Professional organizations such as the Industrial Designer’s Society of America and the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design help to further the advancement of industrial design professionals.

The Industrial Designer’s Society of America offers training, scholarships, mentors, and other resources for industrial design students and educators. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design hosts events and workshops that pertain to industrial design issues.

Industrial Design Certification

Certification shows an employer that you’ve gone the distance to prove to that you are a professional. Payscale.com lists the most popular certifications for industrial designers as Certified SolidWorks Professional, LEED Accredited Professional, Engineering Technician: EngTech, Autodesk AutoCad Certified Associate, and Journeyman Gas Fitter.

What are the Best Industrial Design Colleges?

Attending a top industrial design college is a good start when it comes to laying the foundation to succeed as an industrial designer. Following is a list of the top fine arts schools for industrial design and their ranking in the United States, (source US News and World Report).

Art Center College of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Carnegie Mellon University

Pratt Institute

Ohio State University

University of Cincinatti

Cranbrook Academy of Art

California College of Arts

Rochester Institute of Technology

Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Art

University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign


No matter which industrial design college you choose, industrial design is a rewarding field. Professional opportunities are plentiful for industrial designers and you just may the designer of the next great thing.

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