How To Pursue A Career In Industrial Design

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

One of the most important turning points in the history of mankind is that of the industrial revolution. It was at this point that manual labour started to get substituted by the work of machines. Things started being produced on a mass scale. As a result, the cost of things came down by a large extent. Now India was not really a part of the Industrial Revolution. At the time this was happening at the other side of the globe, the nation was battling its own set of problems (in the form of colonisation, poverty, caste system and many other social evils). It was only after the nation gained its independence in 1947 that Indian industries started establishing themselves in the truest colours.


Since then, decades have passed and a lot has changed. Today, India is self-sufficient in the production of most items. In fact, having crossed that stage of basic production of things, we have now reached a point where we seek better precision, artistry and aesthetic beauty in the things that we produce. That is where the role of industrial designers come into the picture. This article explores the various career opportunities of an industrial designer.

How To Pursue A Career In Industrial Design

· Job Role

The primary job role of an industrial designer would be to take into account the functionality, production and aesthetic beauty of a particular object and then design it in such a manner that an optimum is reached in terms of the aforementioned parameters.

These people are also responsible for keeping the financial aspect of the entire budget in mind and making sure that the product caters to the same. Industrial designers design the concepts of everything from toys and bags to automobiles and electronic appliances. Because of the sheer nature of diversity of this job, there are great employment opportunities here.

· Skills Required

An industrial designer needs to understand what a client wants and then develop something that caters to their need while adhering to the budget that has been stated. Thus, strong problem-solving skills coupled with good analytical skills are needed. You should be creative and should be able to artistically sketch the initial designs of your ideas and then create prototypes of the same.

Only then will you be able to prove the credibility of your work to the client and thereby, win their trust. Basic mechanical skills are an absolute necessity here for you can design a product well only when you have a clear understanding of how it is engineered.

· Educational Qualification

In the Indian context, to become an industrial designer, you need to have a bachelor's degree. While there are industries that allow graduates from any field to pursue a career as an industrial designer, it is preferable that you have a bachelor's degree in engineering, industrial design or architecture.

For candidates from the engineering background, it is preferred that they should have graduated in one of the core branches. Following the basic graduation degree, one can choose to do a degree or diploma in the field of industrial design to boost their technical skills and thereby, increase their chances of getting hired.

· Technical Background

As stated earlier, the basic educational qualification required for this job role is generic. On a technical front, if you want to make it big in this career you need a strong background in 2D and 3D computer-aided design and drafting (CADD).

As per the recent trends in this field, there is a greater shift towards sustainable development and this creates immense job potential for candidates who have a proficiency in computer-aided industrial design (CAID). A basic knowledge about user interface (UI), interactive design (IxD) and user experience (UX) will further increase your chances of getting a job.

· Work Environment

Industrial designers may either be self-employed or they can work under some employers. Manufacturing and wholesale trade are sectors that employ industrial designers in large numbers. Other than that, architectural and engineering-related services also require the service of such people. The typical workspace for industrial designers would include worktables fitted with large drawing boards.

Other than this, the usual computer and other profession-specific equipment will be there. Professions who work for specialised design services often must travel to client exhibit sites, testing facilities and design centres to get their job done. On a whole, a typical work day in the life of an industrial designer begins at about 8 or 9 in the morning and goes about till 6 or 7 in the evening.

· Salary

Since this is a world of design, different people with the same basic qualification can earn money in different proportions. The starting salary for an industrial designer in India stands at close to Rs 3 lakh per year. With experience and proficiency, the same rises to about Rs 8.5 lakh in the next 10-12 years.

Although the monetary compensation that you take home will depend on your expertise, the average salary stands at close to Rs 4 lakh. These figures are with respect to people who are employed with firms and organisations. For those who are self-employed, the monthly income may be much higher or lower than this.

· Career Growth

Starting off as an industrial designer, you may gradually advance to the job roles of the chief designer, design department head or in any other supervisory post. In India, several industrial designers are seen to be shifting to teaching design in colleges and universities in the later stages of their career.

After obtaining the initial experience of working for a firm or organisation, you may choose to start your own firm. Several experienced designers also choose to walk out of their own organisation and then freelance for a number of private firms.

However, there is one thing that we can be absolutely sure about and that is the fact that if you are ready to put in the required efforts, the sky is the limit here with respect to achieving your dreams.

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