Are there entry level jobs in ID?

Hey all, I don’t want to get into too much detail about myself or my path, so I will keep this short and sweet.

I’m considering beginning my journey as an Industrial Engineer with the goal to secure a job at a design firm that is very hands on. I want to be able to sit down with a team and conceptualize, design, build and test our designs. I want to be able to see the project evolve from beginning to end and to never feel disconnected from it’s progress through life. IDEO comes to mind. I’m extremely hands on (woodworking, welding, sketching, testing, etc) and I don’t want a cubical job!

Of course, that goal will be short lived if I cannot find a job at all.

So, my question to you all is this… are there entry level jobs in ID?

And yes, I realize and appreciate how much networking makes a difference.

Thanks all,

do you mean Industrial Engineer? Industrial engineering - Wikipedia

Or Industrial Designer?

They sound the same but very different…

As for jobs, there are currently 108 Intern or Junior Level design jobs posted on Coroflot: Design Jobs & Employment Opportunities |

NURB, thank you for the quick reply. I do mean industrial design, as the creative process would keep my motivation going for years to come. I have already tried the Mechanical Engineering route and found it to be on the exact opposite of the spectrum. I want to design things that people will know and love, I don’t want to sit down and work out force analysis on stressed members and etc etc etc…

I want to help design products, not the nuts and bolts that make up the product. :slight_smile:

Thanks again,

Short answer is yes. There are entry level jobs. They are very rare these days (I’m trying to secure one as I’m graduating this May). Connections and networking will always help.

You have a portfolio to show? You can’t get into an entry level position without any design experience/work/portfolio. I think you DO need to get into “too much detail” about yourself and your path for us to help you!


thanks very much for the reply. Unfortunately I do not have a portfolio right now, as I haven’t even applied for a school that had an ID program. I am just trying to get a sense of the overall job forecast for entry level jobs. Thanks for being so willing to help, but I’m afraid you have already helped more than enough. :slight_smile:

Check out this section of the site. Might help you a bit:

Thanks Chris, I’ve been looking over at that part of the site and have found it extremely helpful. core77 is extremely complete and helpful for people who are interested in learning more about the profession. :slight_smile:

this thread is sort of up my alley as well as I’m a degreed Mechanical Engineer (with engineering experience, though sadly not at an ID firm) looking for either an entry level job or an internship. It seems like networking is everything, but I don’t know where to start. I have the fortunate disposition of living in New York City rent free at the moment, but I need to get my career going because I can’t live off of savings for long once I start having to pay rent.

Specifically in New York City, what is the best way to network at the entry level? are there any retail jobs that would help in networking? I don’t really care about money in the short term, I just want to start making positive steps toward a full-time, full-salary staff position.

Even though my degree is in Mechanical Engineering, I’m really more of an industrial designer at heart and I feel I would work really well in the multi-disciplined product design environment, but I just need to wedge my foot in the door that seems to have a bouncer standing in front of it that simply says “members only”.

Engineer, I have no experience in this field so I can only offer ideas, not fact.

If I were in your position I would build up a portfolio of some kind. Take on a personal project. Redesign something for yourself and document the entire process and include it with your portfolio. Try to get in on some design groups in the city, there has to be art walks for product designers or something of that nature. Get your face out there and start talking to people. You don’t have to sell yourself to be networking, just stopping in at a gallery show and chatting up the design firms will make you a face instead of a name on a piece of paper.

Just some ideas…

I’d be careful about basing the answer to this question on the number of posted jobs vs. the number of jobs actually available… while I do believe there are entry-level positions out there for industrial designers, it is still a slow and sticky time to find one. Competition is fierce, sources are slim (everyone uses coroflot= lots of applicants for all the jobs= more competition), and almost every company will hire the candidate with the most experience. If you’re looking for job security, engineering may be the better way to go. If your passion is design, and the design process, stick with it. Even if you don’t wind up going the classic design firm route, I would bet you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time…

As an aside, there are 115 junior and intern level positions on coroflot, but only 38 of those are in the industrial design field…

33% is pretty good considering there are a number of design fields that list on coroflot now.

It’s a pretty good percentage in terms of coroflot, but 38 entry level industrial design jobs on the primary design job board for the industry isn’t a lot- there are practically that many people from my graduating class (last June) who are still looking for jobs.

eh… I think its pretty misleading to say that: “Yes! There ARE entry level jobs in ID out there.(!)”

The short answer is No, there actually aren’t that many entry level jobs out there. If you have a concentration in everything and 3-5 years experience somehow, then yes, jobs exist -otherwise no. (I’ve been looking for yearSss …but then maybe I am just unemployable?) You’ll be competing in an ocean of entry level applicants, as well as an abundance of sharp, unemployed designers with mid-level experience. Your best bet is to land a stellar internship, which can give your career the escape velocity it needs to go places. Otherwise you’ll be like that waiter in L.A. who’s not a waiter but an actor working as a waiter until his/her acting career happens -indefinitely. Becoming an industrial designer is a self-punishing act, born of a bizarre mental disorder, I would not consider it a practical career choice. :smiley:

I have to disagree completely with Nerdspeed. While industrial design is an extremely competitive market, especially for young designers, firms and companies are never closed off to fresh talent. If you have developed your skillset to a professional level, and you’re able to prove that to employers, work is out there.

Returning to Taiden’s original topic, it will be next to impossible to garner real work without a portfolio or an education in design. This is not to say that you are not talented enough for these jobs, you simply haven’t been shown how to effectively apply your talents to design. I also don’t think it’s wise to make a career decision based on the CURRENT job market if you plan to enter a university ID program. Five years ago our industry was booming, and no one saw the last couple of years coming. By the time you earn a degree, the market will likely have undergone drastic changes that once again will not be predictable.

Base your decision on what you want to do with your life and career. Both in school and professionally, a passion for your work will drive your progress as a designer, not your ability to find a job.

Hope that helps.

OK, let me try to help settle this.

Yes, of course there are entry level jobs in ID. Why wouldn’t there be? People are still making things, right?

There may of course be less jobs in the past as due to the economy, budgets being tighter for new product development, etc., but there are jobs.

It’s not by any means a dying industry like Typewriter Repairman. Designers are still needed.


Coroflot is a great resource, but it’s only one resource. There are 10x as many open positions that are not listed on coroflot. I think one of the best ways to look for jobs is to go on each companies website and look at their careers section. Often that is the only place to post.
Surprisingly craigslist is also a good resource if you weed out the bad one’s.

Yes, there are entry level jobs, and just because it says 3 years experience doesn’t mean you can’t apply. Of course a company would love to hire a entry level position with entry level pay to someone with experience. But if your work is good, and you present yourself well you might get an interview and then who knows.

Sounds like the poster is a long way away from applying since they have not gone to school yet so the job market is sure to change.
For now I would suggest taking these steps.

Decide where you want to work.
Look up all the companies that are in that area and if they make something check out their site, they may have an in house design team and they might be hiring.
I would imagine most people are more likely to get a job with a in house team rather than a design firm as their first job, and their are a lot more available.

Make sure someone looks over your resume, portfolio and cover letter/email. Spelling errors and unprofessional emails are the best way for your resume to be thrown out (or deleted).

Thanks all, It is definitely hard to predict 5 years out from now, that’s a given. But I appreciate all the replies.

I have decided a program which results in a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design is a minimum requirement for me. My understanding is that when looking for jobs in general a BS is much better to have than a BA. This likely does NOT apply to I.D. jobs, although it might.

Thanks again and have a great week. :slight_smile:

BA or BS. It does not matter for employers. It may affect the way your school teaches, though.

I mean if I end up looking for a job outside of ID. A lot of job listings I run into will say “Bachelors in Science” non specific to degree. :slight_smile: