Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for industrial designers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 1,950 jobs for industrial designers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow 10% to about 2,150 jobs by 2016. This is better than 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.

The income of an industrial designer is about $23 per hour or $49,030 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $27 hourly or $57,350 yearly on average. Incomes for industrial designers are better than in the overall category of Art and Design in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: product design engineer, bicycle designer, and tile designer.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • 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

Bradford School - Pittsburgh, PA

Bradford School, 125 West Station Square Drive, Suite 129, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bradford School is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 583 students and an admission rate of 95%. Bradford School has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Oakbridge Academy of Arts - Lower Burrell, PA

Oakbridge Academy of Arts, 1250 Greensburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068. Oakbridge Academy of Arts is a small school located in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 50 students and an admission rate of 62%. Oakbridge Academy of Arts has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated eight students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division - Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division, 1400 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4332. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division is a medium sized school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,250 students and an admission rate of 53%. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated two students in 2008.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two students in 2008.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has 3 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Douglas Education Center - Monessen, PA

Douglas Education Center, 130 7th St, Monessen, PA 15062. Douglas Education Center is a small school located in Monessen, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 222 students. Douglas Education Center has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eighty students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1328. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,985 students and an admission rate of 46%. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh has 3 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Commercial and Advertising Art, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated thirteen, thirty-one, and 116 students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated six and forty-nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has 3 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, zero, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Point Park University - Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University, 201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984. Point Park University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,846 students and an admission rate of 79%. Point Park University has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

International Academy of Design and Technology - Pittsburgh, PA

International Academy of Design and Technology, 555 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 73 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated forty-three 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.