Designers tend to display the ARTISTIC occupational personality type.
Pathway 1: Upcycling Designer
Upcycling Designers use their creative vision and desire to reduce waste through reusing resources. Upcycling designers benefit the environment by turning discarded resources into treasures, creating new functional products and repurposing unwanted/useless materials and objects such as wood, plastic, textiles, glass and rubber. Furniture designer, fashion designer and craft artist are examples of upcycling careers.
- Education: No minimum education requirements.
- Experience: No standard job experience requirements.
Skills: Creativity, artistic, passionate, visionary, constantly learning and developing, innovative and open-minded.
Pathway 2: Urban Designer, Urban Planner or Landscape Architect
A career as an urban designer requires a bachelor’s degree with experience in the areas listed below. However, most designer positions prefer candidates obtain a master’s degree from an accredited college or university in urban and regional planning, architecture, public policy, public administration, geography or economics for entry-level positions, and may require additional licensure and/or certifications for advanced positions. Urban designers address relevant social, economic and environmental issues while adhering to regulations and codes to design urban environments and work with developers and policy-makers to improve communities.
As urban populations grow, pedestrian safety, land use changes and traffic congestion become important issues to address. Urban planners consider these concerns and utilize geographic, census, economic and environmental data to develop plans, policies and approaches that preserve existing land use, determine future land use and revitalize urban zoning. They work with the general public, local city council committees, city planning and zoning commissions and/or municipal planning boards to sustainably develop and design communities that address the needs of the population.
- Education: Typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with coursework in economics, architecture, planning, computer software, sociology and related courses from an accredited college or university. Although not required, it is beneficial to obtain master’s degree.
- Experience: Minimum of two years full-time traditional or non-traditional professional planning experience gained outside of an agency (private or government), institute, or firm providing planning services, instruction, or research.
- Exam: Not required, but the American Institute of Certified Planners Certification demonstrates that you have the academic qualifications, necessary work experience, and have mastered essential skills to serve, shape and build communities.
Landscape architects work on a smaller scale than urban planners, developing design plans for a specific site. They design aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor public spaces surrounding buildings, roads, sidewalks and trails.
- Education: Typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with coursework in architecture, horticulture, computer-aided design software and related courses. Although not required, it is beneficial to obtain a master’s degree.
- Experience: Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture from an accredited institution. Training, licensure and specialized skills vary by state.
- Exam: All states require landscape architects to pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.
Pathway 3: Transportation Engineer
Transportation engineering is a branch of civil engineering. These engineers use technology and scientific principles to design and manage transportation systems at local and regional levels. People rely on the transport of goods and products locally, nationally and globally. The role of the transportation engineer is to ensure the safe, economical and efficient movement of these supplies.
- Education: Typically need a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited college or university with coursework in engineering, design, traffic analysis, construction, grey infrastructure, geographic information systems, soils and other related field. Associate degree programs usually prepare students for work as an engineering technician. However, for most entry-level positions and licensure exams, a bachelor’s degree is required.
- Experience: Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, planning or related field from an accredited institution. Training, licensure and specialized skills vary by state.
- Exam: Transportation engineers must earn a license from their state’s licensure board. Check the licensure requirements in the state or territory where you want to work because the requirements vary by state. Although not required, the Transportation Professional Certification Board Inc. offers many certification and professional development resources for transportation professionals.