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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Detroit, Michigan

Industrial designers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Detroit, Michigan area. About 7,950 people are currently employed as industrial designers in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow 7% to 8,470 people employed. 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%. In general, industrial designers develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys.

A person working as an industrial designer can expect to earn about $35 hourly or $72,830 annually on average in Michigan and about $27 hourly or $57,350 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for industrial designers are better than earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Michigan and better than general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: silver designer, mechanical engineer, and product design engineer.

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can study to be an industrial designer, among seventy-three schools of higher education total in the Detroit area. Industrial designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Detroit 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.
  • 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

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, , Ann Arbor, MI 48109. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a large university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 40,618 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated three and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

College for Creative Studies - Detroit, MI

College for Creative Studies, 201 E Kirby, Detroit, MI 48202. College for Creative Studies is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,358 students and an admission rate of 27%. College for Creative Studies has 3 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 67 students in 2008.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 15 students in 2008.

Baker College of Allen Park - Allen Park, MI

Baker College of Allen Park, 4500 Enterprise Dr, Allen Park, MI 48101. Baker College of Allen Park is a small college located in Allen Park, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,548 students. Baker College of Allen Park has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated six students in 2008.

Washtenaw Community College - Ann Arbor, MI

Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-4800. Washtenaw Community College is a large college located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,906 students. Washtenaw Community College has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Canton - Canton, MI

ITT Technical Institute-Canton, 1905 S. Haggerty Rd, Canton, MI 48188-2025. ITT Technical Institute-Canton is a small school located in Canton, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 1,113 students and an admission rate of 46%. ITT Technical Institute-Canton has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Cranbrook Academy of Art - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Cranbrook Academy of Art, 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Cranbrook Academy of Art is a small school located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 150 students. Cranbrook Academy of Art has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, master's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Troy - Troy, MI

ITT Technical Institute-Troy, 1522 E Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI 48083-1905. ITT Technical Institute-Troy is a small school located in Troy, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 1,350 students and an admission rate of 55%. ITT Technical Institute-Troy has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Baker College of Clinton Township - Clinton Township, MI

Baker College of Clinton Township, 34950 Little Mack Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48035. Baker College of Clinton Township is a medium sized college located in Clinton Township, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,666 students. Baker College of Clinton Township has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated nine and nine students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Michigan - Novi, MI

The Art Institute of Michigan, 28125 Cabot Dr Ste 120, Novi, MI 48377-2985. The Art Institute of Michigan is a small school located in Novi, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 300 students and an admission rate of 33%. The Art Institute of Michigan has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree.

Baker College of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI

Baker College of Auburn Hills, 1500 University Dr, Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2642. Baker College of Auburn Hills is a small college located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,848 students. Baker College of Auburn Hills has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated twelve and seven 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: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.