There are currently an estimated 39,700 industrial designers in the United States. The industrial designer job market is expected to grow by 4.3% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are industrial designers?

CareerExplorer rates industrial designers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 7,300 industrial designers. That number is based on 1,700 additional industrial designers, and the retirement of 5,600 existing industrial designers.

Are industrial designers in demand?

Employment growth for industrial designers will be sustained by an increase in consumer and business demand for innovative products and new product styles. Opportunities should result from continued emphasis on the quality and safety of goods; appetite for items that are easy and comfortable to use; and development of high-technology, high-precision devices in electronics, medicine, transportation, and other fields. However, declining production in some sectors of the manufacturing industry is expected to moderate the outlook for this occupation. In addition, use of offshore designers, especially by companies whose suppliers are located overseas, may further slow employment in the U.S. During economic downturns, companies tend to reduce their research and spending, leading to declines in both new product development and employment of industrial designers. Prospects will likely be best for applicants with extensive experience in two- and three- dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided industrial design (CAID). The trend toward environmental consciousness should expand opportunities for those comfortable working with sustainable resources. As the demand for industrial design becomes more consumer-driven, designers who can closely monitor and react to customer needs and wants by collaborating with strategic planning and marketing professionals will also improve their job prospects. Senior designers in large firms may advance to the position of chief designer or design department head. Others may become design school or university instructors. Typically, designers who teach the discipline also continue to consult privately or operate small design studios.

What’s the supply of industrial designers?

The industrial designer industry is concentrated in Michigan, California, New York

Industrial Designer job market by state

State Name Employed Industrial Designers
Michigan 5,690
California 3,610
New York 2,400
Texas 1,680
Illinois 1,410
Ohio 1,070
New Jersey 1,020
Pennsylvania 960
Massachusetts 810
Georgia 780
Wisconsin 750
Florida 740
Indiana 720
North Carolina 660
Utah 610
Oregon 570
Minnesota 560
Colorado 530
South Carolina 490
Tennessee 470
Missouri 460
Virginia 460
Connecticut 450
Iowa 450
Washington 400
Kentucky 370
Rhode Island 340
Maryland 290
Oklahoma 270
Arizona 250
Louisiana 240
Kansas 190
Alabama 180
Vermont 170
Maine 170
Idaho 160
New Hampshire 120
Nebraska 100
West Virginia 80
Montana 80
South Dakota 80
Hawaii 60
Mississippi 50
Nevada 50
New Mexico 50