Industrial Design» open the printable degree» search for more Areas of Study
Industrial design is the development and design of products for manufacture or mass production. Industrial design focuses on the development of a design concept that is a marketable solution, which takes into account financial, functional, social, environmental, ergonomic (design that minimises discomfort and effort) and aesthetic aspects.
Industrial design explores design possibilities through creative thought, logical and scientific thinking and the integration of engineering and production considerations. This involves analysis of client requirements, market research, concept or solution creation and lastly developing the product.
Industrial design products cover a wide range of manufactured goods, from appliances, cars, toys to heavy machinery and all products that require a human - machine interface. It may involve the creation of new product and the upgrading of existing products. Due to the diverse nature of products, your career path may well be directed by your individual interests.
Employment opportunities for Graduates of the Bachelor of Industrial Design range from salaried employment in large corporations working on the development of products before manufacture, to consultancy for specialised projects.
See final year student work on the online gallery.
For more information about Industrial Design, visit the School of Architecture and Built Environment site.
Further Study Options
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD).
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/program/postgraduate/
The following list of jobs provides some examples of the types of work available to industrial design graduates in the commercial industry.
- Design Manager
- Entrepreneur/ Inventor
- Fashion designer
- Furniture Designer
- Graphic Designers
- Industrial Designer / Product Designer
- Interior Designer
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Industrial Design employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations. Below is an example of some major organisations which formally target graduates with qualifications in industrial design.
- 4Design (Australia)
- APS Innovations (Australia)
- Axolotl Group (International)
- Bernabeifreeman (Australia)
- Box and Dice Pty Ltd (Australia)
- Citi (International)
- Clemenger Group (International)
- CPG (International)
- Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO) (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Education and Training (Teach NSW) (Australia)
- Department of Infrastructure (DOI) (Australia)
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Australia)
- Design and Industry (Australia)
- Ferret (Australia)
- Ford Motor Company (Australia)
- Holden (Australia)
- Infocus Design (Australia)
- KPMG (International)
- Living Edge (Australia)
- Mothers Art Productions Pty Ltd (Australia)
- Sinclair Knight Merz (International)
- Visy Glama (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
According to the Design Institute of Australia Fees and Salary Survey 2005 (June 2006), Industrial Design graduates average $33,300 with $50,000 being the highest recorded over the survey period.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Design Institute of Australia (Australia)
- Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc (Australia)
- Intellectual Property Australia (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Industrial Design are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge required to become a design professional. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- Produce balanced solutions to complex Industrial Design problems.
- Engage with strategies for exploring and resolving problems beyond an existing knowledge base.
- Think critically, creatively, imaginatively and tenaciously.
- Utilise appropriate research methods to support design innovation.
- Provide Industrial Design leadership.
- Work autonomously and collaboratively.
- Appreciate and respect the role of ethics in the design process.
- Have an appreciation of the impact of design decision making on the community and the environment.
- Reflect on their learning and personal and professional development.
- Communicate design concepts to peers and others.
- Apply project management, business, financial and legal constraints to Design project development.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.