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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Designers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for industrial designers in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. There are currently 1,820 working industrial designers in Wisconsin; this should grow by 4% to 1,890 working industrial designers in the state 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.

The income of an industrial designer is about $26 hourly or $54,180 per year on average in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Jobs in this field include: textile designer, color consultant, and designer.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Milwaukee area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee where you can get a degree to start your career as an industrial designer. The most common level of education 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 Milwaukee 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

Bryant and Stratton College-Wauwatosa - Wauwatosa, WI

Bryant and Stratton College-Wauwatosa, 10950 W Potter Road, Wauwatosa, WI 53226. Bryant and Stratton College-Wauwatosa is a small college located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 650 students. Bryant and Stratton College-Wauwatosa has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated three students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Greenfield - Greenfield, WI

ITT Technical Institute-Greenfield, 6300 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI 53220-4612. ITT Technical Institute-Greenfield is a small school located in Greenfield, Wisconsin. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,235 students and an admission rate of 52%. ITT Technical Institute-Greenfield has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Carthage College - Kenosha, WI

Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Dr, Kenosha, WI 53140-1994. Carthage College is a small college located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,990 students and an admission rate of 77%. Carthage College has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 273 E Erie St, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6003. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design is a small school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 672 students and an admission rate of 75%. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design has a bachelor's degree program in Industrial Design.

Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a large college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18,780 students and an admission rate of 54%. Milwaukee Area Technical College has an associate's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Alverno College - Milwaukee, WI

Alverno College, 3400 S 43rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922. Alverno College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,782 students and an admission rate of 89%. Alverno College has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Mount Mary College - Milwaukee, WI

Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Pky, Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597. Mount Mary College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,821 students and an admission rate of 58%. Mount Mary College has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Commercial and Advertising Art.

Cardinal Stritch University - Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985. Cardinal Stritch University is a medium sized university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,300 students and an admission rate of 90%. Cardinal Stritch University has a bachelor's degree program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated two 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: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.