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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for industrial designers. There are currently 990 jobs for industrial designers in Massachusetts and this is projected to shrink 1% to about 980 jobs 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 about $32 per hour or $67,820 per year on average in Massachusetts and about $27 per hour or $57,350 annually on average nationally. Industrial designers earn more than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in Massachusetts and more than people in the Art and Design category nationally. Industrial designers work in a variety of jobs, including: ceramic designer, ornamental metalwork designer, and mechanical engineer.

There are fourteen schools within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can study to be an industrial designer, among 149 schools of higher education total in the Cambridge area. 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 Cambridge 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.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • 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

Wentworth Institute of Technology - Boston, MA

Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115. Wentworth Institute of Technology is a small school located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,283 students. Wentworth Institute of Technology has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Industrial Design which graduated zero and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Mount Ida College - Newton, MA

Mount Ida College, 777 Dedham Street, Newton, MA 02459. Mount Ida College is a small college located in Newton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,460 students and an admission rate of 70%. Mount Ida College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated seventeen and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design - Boston, MA

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5882. Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,223 students and an admission rate of 51%. Massachusetts College of Art and Design has 3 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated five and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, one to two year which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.

Endicott College - Beverly, MA

Endicott College, 376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915. Endicott College is a small college located in Beverly, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,988 students and an admission rate of 48%. Endicott College has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Lesley University - Cambridge, MA

Lesley University, 29 Everett St, Cambridge, MA 02138-2790. Lesley University is a medium sized university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,325 students and an admission rate of 65%. Lesley University has two to four year, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated zero, forty-six, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Gibbs College-Boston - Boston, MA

Gibbs College-Boston, 126 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. Gibbs College-Boston is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 264 students. Gibbs College-Boston has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eight students in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Butera School of Art - Boston, MA

Butera School of Art, 111 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02116. Butera School of Art is a small school located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 45 students and an admission rate of 86%. Butera School of Art has a two to four year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated ten students in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.