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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Hartford, Connecticut

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for industrial designers in the Hartford, Connecticut area. Currently, 1,040 people work as industrial designers in Connecticut. This is expected to grow 6% to about 1,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for industrial designers are expected to grow by about 9.0%. Industrial designers generally develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys.

Industrial designers earn approximately $24 per hour or $51,500 per year on average in Connecticut. Nationally they average about $27 per hour or $57,350 per year. Earnings for industrial designers are better than earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Connecticut and better than general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Industrial designers work in a variety of jobs, including: roller coaster designer, lighting designer, and automotive designer.

The Hartford area is home to sixty-two schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree as an industrial designer. The most common level of education for industrial designers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be an industrial designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Industrial Designer

Industrial Designer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, industrial designers develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. They also combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.

Industrial designers ready sketches of concepts or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided layout equipment. They also talk with engineering or sales departments, or with customers, to determine and evaluate layout concepts for manufactured products. Equally important, industrial designers have to modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications or changes in layout trends. They are often called upon to present designs and reports to customers or layout committees for approval, and consider need for modification. They are expected to direct and schedule the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches. Finally, industrial designers evaluate feasibility of layout concepts, on the basis of factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.

Every day, industrial designers are expected to be able to prioritize information for further consideration. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for industrial designers to read publications and study competing products and layout styles and motifs to obtain perspective and generate layout concepts. They are often called upon to direct the look and function of product lines. They also participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products. They are sometimes expected to 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. Somewhat less frequently, industrial designers are also expected to design manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to further optimize operations and product quality.

Industrial designers sometimes are asked to advise corporations on issues involving corporate image projects or problems. And finally, they sometimes have to design industrial standards and regulatory guidelines.

Like many other jobs, industrial designers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Hartford include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Industrial Designer Training

Asnuntuck Community College - Enfield, CT

Asnuntuck Community College, 170 Elm St, Enfield, CT 06082. Asnuntuck Community College is a small college located in Enfield, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,769 students. Asnuntuck Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated one student in 2008.

Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, CT

Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050. Central Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,233 students and an admission rate of 60%. Central Connecticut State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated thirty and zero students respectively in 2008.

Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT

Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated eight students in 2008.

Tunxis Community College - Farmington, CT

Tunxis Community College, Rts 6 and 177, Farmington, CT 06032-3187. Tunxis Community College is a small college located in Farmington, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,328 students. Tunxis Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated five and ten students respectively in 2008.

Springfield Technical Community College - Springfield, MA

Springfield Technical Community College, 1 Armory Sq, Springfield, MA 01105-1296. Springfield Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,331 students. Springfield Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated five students in 2008.

Holyoke Community College - Holyoke, MA

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040. Holyoke Community College is a medium sized college located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,592 students. Holyoke Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated one student in 2008.

Capital Community College - Hartford, CT

Capital Community College, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Capital Community College is a small college located in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,989 students. Capital Community College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Northwestern Connecticut Community College - Winsted, CT

Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Park Pl E, Winsted, CT 06098. Northwestern Connecticut Community College is a small college located in Winsted, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,721 students. Northwestern Connecticut Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated five students in 2008.

Springfield College - Springfield, MA

Springfield College, 263 Alden St, Springfield, MA 01109-3797. Springfield College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,849 students and an admission rate of 68%. Springfield College has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Manchester Community College - Manchester, CT

Manchester Community College, Great Path, Manchester, CT 06045-1046. Manchester Community College is a medium sized college located in Manchester, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,649 students. Manchester Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT), which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Senior Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Senior Lighting Technician (CSLT) which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Web Graphics and Multimedia Certificate: Equips the student for work as a Web graphic artist, creating illustrations, pictures, buttons, and other images for use on the Web, as well as the ability to create interactive multimedia designs in Flash or other programs.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Highway Design: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians who are engaged in the preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates for proposed highway construction projects.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certified Playground Safety Inspector: Known as the most comprehensive training program on public playground safety, NRPA's National Playground Safety Institute offers hours of training by nationally certified playground safety experts, and prepares professionals for the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) exam.

For more information, see the National Recreation and Park Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.