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Commercial and Industrial Designer

What They Do

Commercial and Industrial Designers Career Video

About This Career

Designs and develops manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combines artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Audio and Video Technology and Film pathway, Visual Arts pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Prepares sketches of ideas, detailed drawings, illustrations, artwork, or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided design equipment.
  • Modifies and refines designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends.
  • Evaluates feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.
  • Confers with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products.
  • Presents designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval and discusses need for modification.
  • Researches production specifications, costs, production materials, and manufacturing methods and provides cost estimates and itemized production requirements.
  • Directs and coordinates the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches.
  • Investigates 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.
  • Develops manufacturing procedures and monitors the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.
  • Participates in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Design Engineer — Researches and develops ideas for new products and production systems.
  • Designer
  • Mechanical Designer
  • Product Design Engineer
  • Product Designer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Mold Designer
  • Sign Designer


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733