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Car Designer: Job Description, Info, & Job Openings

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Do vehicles intrigue you?

Do you love to draw, design, and create?

If so, you may want to consider a career as a car designer.

Keep reading to find out what education you need, what the job entails, and more.

Car Designer: The Basics

Here, we cover the basics of car design to help you determine whether or not this type of design is for you.

What is a Car Designer?

A car designer is an individual who is responsible for the creation and design of new cars.

They work with teams of engineers to create concepts and prototypes for new cars

Designers are also responsible for the aesthetics of the finished product.

What is a Car Designer Called?

Car designers are also known as automotive designers or stylists.

What Does a Car Designer Do?

Car designers are responsible for the overall look and feel of a car.

They take into account the functionality, ergonomics, and aesthetics of a car when coming up with its design.

In addition, car designers must also consider the manufacturing process and cost when designing a car.

Work Opportunities in the Car Designer Industry

Working as a car designer is a highly creative and challenging career.

Read on to learn more about job opportunities in this field.

Car Designer Job Description

A car designer is responsible for the overall look and feel of a car.

They work with other design team members to create a product that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

A car designer must have a strong understanding of cars’ construction and how they work.

They need to know how to create a design that meets the needs of both the customer and the manufacturer.

Car designers must also have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

They need to be able to work well with others in a team environment and be able to take direction from superiors.

Top Car Designer Jobs and Careers

Some of the top car designers work for major automakers.

Others are independent designers who contract with automakers or suppliers.

Still others work in design studios that focus exclusively on developing new automotive designs.

Where Can a Car Designer Work?

The most obvious place for a car designer to work is at an automotive company.

Many designers find work in other industries, such as aerospace or consumer products.

Some designers work freelance, while others are employed by design firms that serve the automotive industry.

What It’s Like to be a Car Designer

Car designers typically work in studios or design shops near auto manufacturing plants.

They may travel to different plants to observe how cars are made and to get ideas for new designs.

Designers usually work on a team of other designers and engineers responsible for different parts.

Is Being a Car Designer Hard?

The short answer is yes, being a car designer is quite hard.

The job is very competitive, and long hours are sometimes needed.

However, many people believe that the rewards of the job are worth the effort.

Is a Car Designer’s Job Stressful?

A car designer’s job can be extremely stressful.

The pressure to come up with new and innovative designs, meet deadlines and please clients can be overwhelming.

Common Car Designer Work Day

The typical work day for a car designer may vary depending on the company they work for.

But the day usually starts with meetings.

Designers will meet with other designers, engineers and marketing representatives.

They’ll discuss the progress of current projects and any new ideas.

After the meeting, designers head to their desks and begin working on sketches or computer-aided design (CAD) drawings.

They may collaborate with other designers and engineers to make sure the design is feasible and meets all the necessary safety and performance requirements.

Car Designer Tasks & Duties

Designing cars is a complicated and creative process that involves many different people with different skills.

The car designer is the one who puts it all together and creates the overall vision for the car.

The designer must have a deep understanding of how cars work, both mechanically and aesthetically.

They must be able to translate that knowledge into a design that is both functional and stylish.

Designers must work well with other people.

They will be constantly collaborating with engineers, marketing experts, and other designers.

Car Designer Work Hours & Schedule

Car designers typically work regular business hours.

But they may work longer hours to meet deadlines.

Car Designer Dress Code

The standard dress code includes business casual attire and closed-toe shoes.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

Thanks to traditional business hours, car designers usually have a good work/life balance.

However, they may occasionally have to work overtime to meet deadlines.

Car Designer Salary & Income

Income for car designers can vary depending on experience, location, and employer.

Let’s take a closer look to see how this industry stacks up.

Do Car Designers Make Good Money?

Car designers make a good salary, especially when they are experienced and have a good portfolio.

How Much Do Car Designers Make?

Many entry-level car designers make just under $69k a year.

The top 10% of car designers make more than $107k a year.

The median income is slightly over $84k a year.

Overview of the Car Designer Industry

Let’s take a moment to review what car designers do and what the industry looks like.

Car Designer Field: Career Progression

Getting started in the car design industry can be difficult.

But with the right training and portfolio, it is possible to progress into a successful career.

There are a few key steps that can help you on your way.

1. Firstly, it is important to get a good education in car design.

This can be done by studying transportation design at a university or art school.

2. It is also important to have some experience in the industry, so it is worth considering doing an internship at a car design studio.

3. Once you have some experience, it is important to start networking and making contacts within the industry.

This will help you to find work and progress in your career.

4. Finally, it is important to keep up to date with the latest trends and developments in car design.

This can be done by reading industry magazines and attending trade shows.

Is a Car Designer a Good Career?

If you love cars and have always been interested in design, a career as a car designer may be perfect for you.

Car Designer Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the car design industry to increase six percent through 2030.

Demand for Car Designers

Demand is strong for car designers.

A career in this field will likely bring stability.

Car Designer Facts

Inventor of the first car: Karl Benz

Inventor of the first gasoline-powered car: Henry Ford

Car designers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably in mechanical or automotive engineering.

Some car designers work as aerodynamicists, studying how air moves around a car and its effect on fuel economy and performance.

They also work with engineers to develop the car’s suspension, brakes, and steering.

Car designers typically work for car manufacturers, although some may be employed by design firms that serve the auto industry.

Jobs Related to Car Designer

Top related jobs include:

  • Welder
  • Driving Instructor
  • Electrician

Requirements, Skills and Education Required for Car Designers

Below, we look at the specific skills and requirements car designers need, as well as the education they typically pursue.

Who Should Consider a Car Designer Career Path?

If you enjoy being creative and working with your hands, a career as a car designer may be the right path for you.

Who Should NOT Consider a Car Designer Career Path?

Car designers need to have a strong interest in cars and the automotive industry.

They should also be good at math and science.

If you don’t have these interests or skills, a career as a car designer is probably not right for you.

Is It Hard to Become a Car Designer?


You need an engineering degree to become a car designer.

Then, you must complete an internship with a car company or design firm.

After that, you need several years of experience working in the industry to develop the skills necessary to become a car designer.

What Do I Need to Become a Car Designer?

Many car designers get their start in the industry by working as interns or entry-level designers.

They may also begin their careers in another field, such as engineering or industrial design, and then transition into automotive design.

Requirements for Becoming a Car Designer

To become a car designer, you will need to have a strong background in art and design, as well as engineering.

Many car designers have a bachelor’s degree in either industrial design or transportation design.

What Skills Does a Car Designer Need?

You will need to have strong skills in sketching and rendering, computer-aided design (CAD), and engineering.

Moreover, you will also need to be creative, have a good eye for aesthetics, and be able to think outside the box.

What Education Does a Car Designer Need?

Car designers typically have a bachelor’s degree in industrial design or engineering.

Can You Become a Car Designer Without a Degree?

In almost all cases, you need a degree to become a car designer.

However, with experience in the industry and a strong portfolio, you may be able to get a job without a degree.

What Experience Does a Car Designer Need?

If you are interested in becoming a car designer, the first step is to get a degree in automotive design from an accredited university or college.

Car Designer Education & Schooling

Car designers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (mechanical or automotive).

What Is Taught in a Car Designer Course?

Most courses teaching car design last four years and include classes in engineering, art and computer-aided design.

Students learn how to use software to sketch their designs and build three-dimensional models.

They also learn about the mechanics of cars, such as how engines work.

How Long Does a Car Designer Course Take?

A typical course of study to become a car designer takes about four years.

But some programs may offer accelerated tracks that can be completed in three years.

Car Designer Education Options and Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year degree program in car design will build on the foundation established in an associate’s degree program.

Master’s Degree

Students in these programs will also complete coursework in business and management.

They may also be required to complete a thesis project.

Schools for Car Designers

Popular schools include:

  • College for Creative Studies
  • Academy of Art University
  • University of Cincinnati

Become a Car Designer

Most car designers take specific steps to enter the industry.

Check below to find out what they are.

Steps to Become a Car Designer

1. Obtain a degree in automotive design or engineering from an accredited university or college.

2. Work as an intern or apprentice under the guidance of a lead designer or engineer at an automotive company.

3. Use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create sketches and models of potential car designs.

4. Present your designs to a panel of judges or executives at an automotive company.

Current Career Job Openings

Job openings for car designers include:

  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
  • Kelly

Frequently Asked Questions

Do car designers use math?


Car designers use a variety of math skills to perform their job duties.

Who is the richest car designer?

Marcello Gandini has made millions of dollars in his career as a car designer.

Wrapping Up

If you’re interested in learning more about designing cars, consider taking an AutoCAD class or another type of design course.

With the right skills and knowledge, you could turn your passion for car design into a successful career.

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