What is an industrial designer

Profession as
Industrial designer

In order to be able to start successfully in the profession of industrial designer, you definitely have to have studied industrial design. It is always good if you have previously completed an apprenticeship as a model maker or carpenter, as this will give you additional practical experience. Experience also shows that a master’s degree is preferred to a bachelor’s degree, as the master’s degree provides additional qualifications and specializations can already be selected. A degree in business administration is also an advantage if you want to become self-employed, as the design degree does not give you a lot of insights into marketing or cost accounting.

Before you apply anywhere, however, you should first be clear about how exactly you want to work. There are basically three options you can choose between. As an employee, you can work on permanent projects in an agency or company. Agencies usually pay less because they are often simply less staffed and therefore have a tighter budget. Companies have a lot more money, so they can pay you more too. Both of these limits your freedom and creativity, of course, but in return they offer you a lot of security. Nevertheless, you should know for yourself whether it is an option for you to work in a company that makes washing machines, for example, since you will probably not design anything else there except washing machines.

In any case, it is currently rather difficult to get a permanent position. The positions are overflowing and there are simply too many industrial designer graduates who apply for just one advertised position. Internships are definitely a mandatory requirement in order to have a chance among all the talents.

If this idea is a horror to you, you can also start as a freelancer. If you are really good, you will definitely have more money available than in a permanent position, but also more risk because you do not receive a fixed salary. If the freelancer is also not for you, you can finally become self-employed as the owner of an agency. This is of course rather difficult, especially for graduates, as the right contacts are often still missing. You can then actually not earn more money in the industrial designer profession. However, with the windfall comes a lot of responsibility and pressure. You have employees who work for you and want to be paid. In addition, you mainly do management and organizational tasks and therefore design less and less.

So you should decide whether you want a lot of creative freedom but also a high risk or if you want to forego this freedom, but have security in terms of your salary and your standard of living. It's up to you.