Edited by: vegetablevnmichael3130 said:newhorizon,
I can't help you on the payscale as the UK is different but I can give you some experience of industrial designers using SW. I previously worked in a design consultancy though I was primarily engineering based and worked with 2 industrial designers. They both learnt to use SW and used it to help in their designs. They both now run their own consultancies and are able to provide a full design service for their clients.
Basically what I am saying is maybe you shouldn't look on this as a permanent career change but something to help your design skills and be able to offer a fuller package.
As far as stability goes, I don't think anywhere is that stable at the minute worldwide. You take your chances wherever you are. One thing I would say is I loved working for a design consultancy due to varying range of products and the guys and girls I worked with. If I could go back to that tomorrow I would.....as long as it was owned by someone else.