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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Program in Industrial Design Technology

Majors Overview April 21, 2015

Although degree programs in industrial design are not usually available as associate’s programs, the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Industrial Design Technology may be available. These programs include subjects such as manufacturing materials and computer-aided design. Numerous universities offer Bachelor of Industrial Design degree programs, which focus more on model making and product design.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Industrial Design Technology

The plans for various devices, including appliances and cars, are developed by professionals known as industrial designers, who need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or industrial design (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Consequently, few schools, if any, offer associate’s degrees in industrial design. However, associate’s degrees in industrial design technology are offered by some schools to train incoming students to become industrial design technicians.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Programs in Industrial Design Technology

Students enrolled in a two-year program in this subject are trained in a hands-on setting in the design, development, and production of products and parts. Students may learn about rethinking ways of reconstructing manufactured products by considering aesthetics, production procedures, and user-friendliness for the client or consumer. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Students enrolled in associate’s degree programs can gain technical competency as well as knowledge of fundamental concepts in the field. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Mechanical design
•Part modeling
•Manufacturing materials
•Engineering structures
•Computer numerical controls
•Computer-aided design
•Commercial building design

Career Choices

In May 2010, 28,670 individuals in the United States were employed as commercial and industrial designers and 61,630 individuals as industrial engineering technicians (BLS). Program graduates can seek jobs with consulting firms, utility companies, hospitals, government agencies, construction companies, and engineering firms catering to the industrial design field. Associate’s program graduates can seek career positions such as:

•Technical assistant
•Computer-aided design workstation operator
•Engineering technician

Certification Choices

Independent organizations offer certification in computer-aided design programs, such as SolidWorks. Passage of a three-hour exam that includes reference geometry, dimensions, fill patterns, and sketching is necessary to earn the Certified SolidWorks Associate credential. Various certifications in the field are available through the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering. Re-certification can be ensured by earning a certain amount of professional development credits (continuing education credits).

Bachelor of Industrial Design Programs

The design of various products may be entrusted to industrial designers; these include medical equipment, automobiles, and toys. Professionals in this field may make the choice of the proper designs and materials for the aesthetics and functionality of the product.

Coursework in these four-year programs includes classes in research methods, product functionality, and creative thinking. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Students are taught to make design decisions while considering factors such as the availability of a material, the ease of manufacturing, cost, and the dissatisfaction felt by users of certain kinds of products. Programs may require completion of a mandatory amount of studio time, creation of portfolios, and completion of coursework in subject areas such as the following:

•Mechanical functionality
•Digital model design
•Manufacturing processes
•Professional practices
•Concept design

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rate of four percent have been predicted for commercial and industrial design jobs (BLS). In 2012, commercial and industrial designers brought in an average annual wage of $59,610.

Continuing Education Choices

Schools also offer industrial design programs in the Master of Industrial Design format. Schools also offer doctoral coursework in industrial design through various programs, such as computer engineering programs and architecture programs pertaining to designing related to human interaction.

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