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Smithdon High School

Design Technology Careers

Design technology offers a tremendous scope for careers for the future. The following has been taken from the UCAS careers website as guidance to help people choose careers. If you wish to see the whole document, please visit:

Design skills and the ability to visualise new ideas can be useful in many job families such as marketing, sales and advertising, arts crafts and design, broadcast media and performing arts, journalism and publishing, construction, as well as engineering and manufacturing.

Applied and job-related learning

There is a range of vocational qualifications (such as BTECs, NVQ/SVQs, and diplomas) linked to an interest in design technology, such as:

  • graphic design
  • fashion styling
  • art and design
  • media
  • engineering
  • photography
  • construction and building services
  • motor vehicle – technology and repair

There is a range of apprenticeships that link to an interest in design technology, including:

  • junior product designer
  • theatre set carpenter
  • farrier
  • service technician  
  • civil engineering technician
  • plumber
  • design and draughting technician
  • engineering model maker 
Academic subjects – such as A levels

You can study: design and technology, product design (3D), product design (textiles), systems and control technology, food technology.

Related subjects include: art, graphic design, media, music technology, computing, maths, physics, photography, sculpture, textiles, engineering.

Skills and qualities - from studying DT

·Technical ability

You may need particular technical skills and specialist knowledge of how things work or need to be designed and built.

·Problem solving

Some jobs particularly require problem solving skills and creative thinking to recognise problems and their causes, to identify a range of possible solutions and then assess and decide the best way forward.


You need to be able to plan and schedule work. This could include being able to prioritise what needs to be done and by when.


If your job requires verbal communication, you may need to write or give speeches and presentations. For jobs which require written communication skills, you will need to write clearly and convincingly – you could be producing or dealing with legal documents or writing articles for a newspaper. You may also require good listening skills, the ability to negotiate, or to be persuasive.


You may need specific artistic or design skills for a job, or you may need to draw on a good imagination to come up with creative solutions to business challenges.

·Business management

Some jobs require a good understanding of how businesses work and the management skills to help the business run smoothly and succeed.


You will be collecting and examining information in detail to arrive at a solution, to answer a key question or make an informed decision.

·Customer service

Any job which involves contact with customers and the public requires good customer service skills. Whether it’s on the phone or face-to-face it’s important to be able to make customers feel welcome, to be polite and listen.


You need to know and do what is expected of you. This ranges from organising yourself, being on time, to being responsible. Some jobs need particular discipline skills such as being able to persevere with the task and plans until you accomplish them; or following strict procedures.

Careers using design technology

Aerospace engineer

Aerospace engineers design and build aircraft and spacecraft


An animator draws and animates characters, buildings, objects and landscapes.

Arboricultural officer

Arboricultural officers manage and maintain trees for local councils and arboricultural contractors.


Architects design and create plans and technical drawings of buildings.


Barbers cut and style men’s hair and beards.


Bricklayers build and repair walls.

Building control officer

Building control officers make sure regulations are followed when buildings are being constructed.

Cabinet maker

Cabinet makers make wooden furniture.


Carpenters make and maintain wood fixtures in buildings.

CNC machinist

CNC machinists use computer numerically controlled machine tools to create parts used in industry.

Engineering craft machinist

Engineering craft machinists make parts used in manufacturing and engineering.

Model maker

Model makers design and make 3D scale models to show how new buildings or products will look.

Computer service and repair technician

Computer service and repair technicians repair/maintain hardware, and install/repair software.

Computer-aided design technician

Computer-aided design technicians use computers to design and manufacture buildings and machinery.

Costume designer

Costume designers are in charge of the look and creation costumes and outfits.

Dog groomer

Dog groomers keep dogs’ fur coats in good condition.


Electricians install and maintain electrical systems.

Estate agent

Estate agents advertise, sell, and negotiate sales of property.

Fine artist

Fine artists create drawings, paintings, sculptures, and moving pictures, using a variety of media.


Firefighters control and put out fires.


Gardeners design, manage, plant, and tend gardens.


Hairdressers cut and style hair.

Lighting technician

Lighting technicians produce, rig and build lighting systems used in film, TV and live events.


Locksmiths are skilled in the installation and repair of locks and other security devices.

Medical illustrator

Medical illustrators produce photographs, videos and graphical images for use in healthcare.

Nail technician

Nail technicians look after, shape and decorate people’s finger and toenails.

Offshore roustabout

Offshore roustabouts keep the drilling area of an oil or gas rig in good working order.

Pattern cutter

Pattern cutters create patterns based on drawings from a fashion designer.

Personal shopper

Personal shoppers advise customers on what items they should buy.

Petroleum engineer

Petroleum engineers are involved in all parts of the oil and gas production process.


Photographers take pictures of people, landscapes or things.


Plasterers coat the inside walls of buildings with plaster to make them ready for decorating.


Plumbers fit and repair water systems.

Primary school teacher

Primary school teachers teach children from the ages of four to 11

Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors manage the costs and budget of a building project from outset to completion.

Royal Navy rating

Royal Navy ratings work onboard ships and submarines.

Secondary school teacher

Secondary school teachers teach children from the ages of 11 to 18.

Set designer

Set designers create the overall look of a theatre, television or film production.


Signwriters produce hand-painted signs for places such as historic buildings, fairgrounds and shops.

Telecommunications engineer

Telecommunications engineers fit and maintain phone and internet systems.

Television/film producer

Producers manage media projects from beginning to completion.

User acceptance tester

User acceptance testers test websites and software to see if they work properly before they go live.

Window fitter

Window fitters install new or replacement windows, conservatories and glazed curtain walls.

Youth and community worker

Youth and community workers provide support for young people.