engineer apply for design job?

I will be graduating this spring with my BS in Mechanical Engineering, but what I have learned from my education is that I would much rather enjoy an industrial designer position. Since I do not have a degree in Industrial design, Is it sensible or acceptable to apply to these types of jobs, or do I really need to obtain a BS or BA in Industrial Design also?


This question has been asked before on the forums. I don’t know what your skills are like so its difficult to say whether or not you would have a chance to be hired. ID’ers are required to master a lot of skills that your ME education won’t touch on. It’s an entirely different way of thinking. Plus there are a lot of soon-to-be grads (myself included) searching for jobs that will have a design degree and some years of portfolio work. I doubt any employer would hire someone without the degree and the skills over those who have both.

Many ID consultancies hire engineers. You should try and catch on with one of those, maybe learn more about ID and the design process. Then you could possibly go back to school if you wanted to.

You can still apply as an ME. However, I suggest you take a seminar is surface modeling first. If you use Pro-E, than Design-Engine offers a week long surface modeling class. If you use SolidWorks, than a SolidWorks VAR maybe a good option to learn surface modeling techniques.

I am a mechanical design engineer (freelance), and have developed my ID skills from working with other IDs, and self-study. An excellent book is “Materials and Design” by Mike Ashby and Kara Johnson. As a freelancer, I do both the mech. engineering and ID, although I will consult with other freelance IDs (or MEs) when necessary to ensure the success of the project. Typically, my clients are okay with this if I keep them in the loop.

In this economy, you need to do whatever is necessary to survive. I know an ID who teaches a seminar on hand sketching if you would like the info. which would be beneficial.

It’s all about the portfolio! Can you show an employer that you’re a capable Industrial Designer?

Post your stuff on Coroflot and we’ll let you know!

Agreed. In this economy, why would someone hiring an Industrial Designer specifically not hire one? That portfolio would have to stand out above the best available ID graduate.

Your training is very different. The core “culture” of an ME education is not the same as ID. You would have to locate an employer who would want someone rooted in an ME “culture”, or go back to school.

I would also read up on ID history so you can be knowledgeable about key movements, breakthroughs, and practitioners in the field over the past 100 years. I always ask interviewees a few questions about their views on different aspects of the history of ID and who in ID history they relate too as a designer.