Toy designers come up with ideas and create prototypes for toys. They often work in teams to develop their own or other people’s ideas. They’re also responsible for ensuring their ideas work and that manufacturable and marketable toys are produced.
If you’re creative and artistic with a flair for design and engineering, and you’d like to be responsible for bringing fun into the retail market, a career as a toy designer could be for you.
- Creative and innovative
- Good communication and presentation abilities
- Excellent computer skills with knowledge of CAD, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Solidworks and similar software
- Basic understanding of manufacturing process and material properties
- Artistic with strong drawing and model making skills
- Ability to think in 3D
- Interested in continual learning
- Great at problem solving
- Collaborate and assist in the design and administrative tasks from development of approved product concepts through the key development stages
- Produce CAD models and physical mock-ups
- Create technical specification packages, including product model specifications and written document specifications
- Review, give feedback and solve design issues regarding form, configuration of internal components and general appearance of product pilots
- Coordinate, reference and order samples
- Assist Marketing team with presentation material and samples for TV ads, toy fairs and external presentations
- Help to ensure product positioning in the market reflects current toy trends
- Travel to toy stores / other stores to collect samples and product reference as required for the Product Design team
- Overseeing and managing a growing Reference Product sample and Material Reference sample library
- Actively research the marketplace, other toy companies, vendors and trade fairs for trends, ideas, samples and information that will lead to and support new ideas for products and brand extensions.
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Low – around 20% of Toy Designers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is just above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Toy Designers’ salary (median) $72,000* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Very strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will be doing most of your work indoors, in an office or studio environment.
Toy Designers are most in demand in these locations:
A majority of Toy Designers (up to 83%) work in capital cities in Australia. Most Toy Designers work in the Manufacturing, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries.
How to become a Toy Designer in Australia
Most organisations will require a VET or university qualification to consider your application.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English, Maths, and Design or Arts.
Step 2 – Start building a portfolio of work, which you can use to show potential employers as well as gain entry to design courses.
Step 3 – Complete a relevant VET course, such as:
Step 4 – Consider upskilling with a university-level degree, such as a Bachelor of Design.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Toy Designers do?
Toy Designers, as the name suggests, come up with new ideas and prototypes for all kinds of toys – from soft toys to building bricks.
What options are there for career progression?
You might start out as a junior or trainee in a design studio or firm, before working your way up the ladder to becoming a lead designer. With enough experience and skills, you might even like to start your own design studio.
Do I need to go to university to become a Toy Designer?
Not necessarily, but some employers might prefer candidates who have completed a university-level qualification.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Toy Designer?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Toy Designer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Start building a portfolio of work to show off your skills. Work on developing both your creative and technical abilities by taking short courses and workshops.
- See if you can find work experience in a design- or arts-based setting. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
- Talk to a Toy Designer to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in design or manufacturing.