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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Industrial designer career and educational opportunities abound in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are currently 1,390 working industrial designers in Minnesota; this should grow by 8% to 1,500 working industrial designers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for industrial designers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.0% over the next eight years. Industrial designers generally develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys.

The income of an industrial designer is about $32 hourly or $67,760 annually on average in Minnesota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $27 per hour or $57,350 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as industrial designers in Minnesota earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Industrial designers work in a variety of jobs, including: mold designer, ceramic designer, and package designer.

There are eighty schools of higher education in the Minneapolis area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can get a degree to start your career as an industrial designer. Industrial designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Minneapolis 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

Academy College - Minneapolis, MN

Academy College, 1101 E. 78th Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55420-1554. Academy College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 186 students and an admission rate of 100%. Academy College has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated zero, three, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Minneapolis Business College - Roseville, MN

Minneapolis Business College, 1711 W County Rd B, Roseville, MN 55113-0000. Minneapolis Business College is a small college located in Roseville, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 408 students. Minneapolis Business College has a one to two year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Richfield, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1401 W 76 St, Richfield, MN 55423. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Richfield, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,479 students and an admission rate of 87%. Minnesota School of Business has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated one student in 2008.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 741 students and an admission rate of 57%. Minneapolis College of Art and Design has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated fifty-seven students in 2008.

College of Visual Arts - Saint Paul, MN

College of Visual Arts, 344 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-2199. College of Visual Arts is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 195 students. College of Visual Arts has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie, MN

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie, 8911 Columbine Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie is a small school located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 612 students and an admission rate of 36%. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Brown College - Mendota Heights, MN

Brown College, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1004. Brown College is a small college located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,231 students. Brown College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated forty-eight students 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: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.