If you're an industrial designer and you want to find out if you're getting paid the right amount, well, that's why we have the Core77 Salary Guide. But those of you simply interested in the profession as a whole may wonder if, in this age of digital, our profession's importance will increase or diminish.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' stats on Industrial Design as a profession…the outlook isn't fantastic. While ID isn't shrinking--by 2026 there will be 1,800 more ID jobs than there were in 2016--that's only a growth rate of 4%. Across the board, the average job growth rate is 7%.
"Consumer demand for new products and new product styles should sustain the demand for industrial designers," the BLS writes. But the fact that we can now do more with less (thanks, technology!) means firms need less of us than they once did.
So what can you working industrial designers do to ensure that, by 2026, you've held onto your current gig or are part of the 1,800 new ones? As the BLS states,
The increasing trend toward the use of sustainable resources is likely to improve prospects for applicants with the knowledge to work with sustainable resources.
In addition, as more products become digitized and Internet-capable, applicants with experience in user interface (UI), user experience (UX), and interactive design (IxD) may have better job prospects.
The BLS has also compiled a lot of geographical data on where in the U.S. industrial designers work, and how the region affects their salary:
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If you want to dive into those stats, they're all right here.