So, You Want to be a Car Designers

Mangusta Concept car design

Automotive design is a demanding and fun career choice. Most car designers are enamored with car body design; yet, automotive design includes other vehicles as well.

The Basic Prerequisites for an Automobile Design Career

In order to break into the highly competitive field of car design, an individual must possess at least a Bachelor’s degree. However, due to the competitive nature of the field, most applicants have a Master’s degree with a heavy emphasis on creative art, design, and computer-aided design (CAD). The average annual salary for entry level personnel is around $35,000 US. Although the national labor foundation does not track the salary of car designers, the overall average annual salary for industrial design engineers is close to $50,000. The high side average salary, not including benefits and bonuses is around $70,000.

Automotive Design and Manufacturing Vehicles

Aspiring car designers must possess a love of cars and basically everything that travels on the road, including trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Art and modeling design are also areas of interest for those studying automotive design. A strong background and understanding of the capabilities of CAD are very much in demand. CAD offers the designer the tools to draw their automobile designs in 2D and 3D. Utilizing this program with a 3D printer takes a lot of the sculpting work out of the process and give the designer a more realistic model of their car body design.

Where to Find a Job as a Car Designer

Most car design aspirants spend many years in foreign countries working for far less than the US average, just to break into the field. Many do not mind the challenge, as they tend to think of it as an internship.

The bulk of first-time applicants in the field of automobile design work the design and concept department within research and development at large manufacturers. Many do not get the opportunity to work in car body design until they have built a solid reputation as a producer of fine designs for other automobiles first.

Car Body Engineering

Therefore, there is almost always a job opening, if you are willing to make the sacrifice in salary and travel to where the work is to prove yourself in this ultra-competitive arena. Many in the field have reported in surveys that car design is a rewarding job worth making the initial sacrifices to reach their goal of working for a US automobile manufacturer and see their design on America’s highways.

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