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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Providence, Rhode Island

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for industrial designers in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Currently, 820 people work as industrial designers in Rhode Island. This is expected to grow 6% to about 870 people 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. In general, industrial designers develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys.

Industrial designers earn about $25 per hour or $53,820 per year on average in Rhode Island and about $27 hourly or $57,350 annually on average nationally. Incomes for industrial designers are better than in the overall category of Art and Design in Rhode Island, and better than the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: fabric designer, furniture designer, and automotive designer.

The Providence area is home to fifty-five schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Providence where you can get a degree as an industrial designer. Given that the most common education level for industrial designers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Providence 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

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Bristol Community College - Fall River, MA

Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA 02720-7395. Bristol Community College is a medium sized college located in Fall River, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,100 students. Bristol Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated five students in 2008.

Three Rivers Community College - Norwich, CT

Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360. Three Rivers Community College is a small college located in Norwich, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,025 students. Three Rivers Community College has a less than one year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth - North Dartmouth, MA

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth is a medium sized university located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,200 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth has 2 areas of study related to Industrial Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Rhode Island School of Design - Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design, 2 College St, Providence, RI 02903. Rhode Island School of Design is a small school located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,350 students and an admission rate of 29%. Rhode Island School of Design has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Industrial Design which graduated sixty-seven and ten students respectively in 2008.

Gibbs College - Cranston, RI

Gibbs College, 85 Garfield Ave, Cranston, RI 02920. Gibbs College is a small college located in Cranston, Rhode Island. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 306 students. Gibbs College has a one to two year program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eleven 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: Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island photo by Flickr_upload_bot

Providence is situated in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 171,557, which has shrunk by 1.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Providence, 105, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Providence are valued at $75,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seventeen new homes were constructed in Providence, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Providence are educational services, health care, and miscellaneous manufacturing. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and miscellaneous manufacturing. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.4% of Providence residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Providence is 14.5%, which is greater than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Providence residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.6%, is more than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, United Presbyterian Church and Providence Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Providence. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Providence is home to the Fall River Iron Works and the Broadway-Armory Historic District as well as Burnside Park and Customhouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Silver Lake Plaza Shopping Center, Shopperstown Shopping Center and Corliss Landing Shopping Center. Visitors to Providence can choose from Historic Jacob Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, Agora Restaurant & Bar and Old Court Bed & Breakfast for temporary stays in the area.