What Does A Car Designer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Car Designers

Car designers are instrumental in designing the appearance, the style, and the ergonomic and aerodynamic features of automobiles. They have artistic skills that help them along with their knowledge of the mechanics, the materials, and the production of cars. They are important in this process of making new cars.

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Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

A car designer is also called an automotive designer or automotive stylist, and they are specialized industrial designers. They take their experience and knowledge of mechanics, materials, and production and combine it with their artistic skills to improve many aspects of cars. This might include the style, appearance, ergonomic, and aerodynamic design of automobiles.

They can work at automobile manufacturers, or they might be consultants. This is a full-time job, and people who choose this career have technical skills, understand how cars are built, and are very creative.

What they do

Car designers are instrumental in designing the appearance, the style, and the ergonomic and aerodynamic features of automobiles. They have artistic skills that help them along with their knowledge of the mechanics, the materials, and the production of cars. They are important in this process of making new cars.

Design Automobiles

The main responsibility of the car designers is to design cars. They will start by drafting layouts of automobile components. This includes the fenders, the hood, the doors, the lamps, the mirrors, the console, and so on. They also help design the assembly system using the prototypes of the cars they want to create. They make sure that the engineers use the correct formulas so that the final design is exactly what they want it to be. They make sure that the final design is right for the consumers and for the image of the brand.

Consult with Managers, Supervisors, and Clients

In addition, car designers meet with managers, supervisors, and clients to learn what they want to create. Although the car designer will design the final product, they need to learn what these people want them to create. It is important to meet the needs of the company when they create their designs.

Oversee the Prototypes

After the car is built, the car designer will make sure that it turns out the way it is intended. They will look at the final design on the prototype and make sure that everything matches. If the prototype is different from how it should be, they will have the assembly line personnel make another prototype.

Work with a Design Team

The car designer works with an entire team during the creation process for each model of car. The team will usually have a chief designer, exterior designers, interior designers, and possibly trim and color designers. It may also include a clay model team and a digital model team. It is very rare that the design is completed by one person.

Draw Sketches for Design Prototype

The car designer will draw sketches for the prototype before making the complete design. These drawings are used to make sure that the client is happy with the direction of the design.

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What is the job like


You get to be a part of the future of automobiles

When you work in this industry, you get the opportunity to shape the future of the automobile industry. If you enjoy cars, this can be very rewarding.

You can make a good living

If you gain experience and have talent, you can make a good living in this career.

You get to work with cars

For people who love cars, this is a great career. You will be surrounded by cars and car designs every day.

You will meet people with common interests

Most people who choose this career are passionate about cars and automobiles, and you will meet a lot of people who share your interests.


It can be stressful

You will be under pressure to deliver your designs on a tight schedule, which can be stressful.

You need to have a special talent

You need to have really great ideas to get a top job in this field. It takes a lot of experience and creativity.

Where they work

Automobile manufacturers
Consultancy firms
Design firms

Car designers usually work at large automobile manufacturers. They are normally full-time employees and work as part of a team. They can also work as consultants and consult with automobile manufacturers. They might work in a corporate center away from the manufacturing plant and travel to the plant to make sure that the designs are carried out correctly. In addition to designing cars, they can design other vehicles, such as motorcycles, trucks, or buses.

How to become one

Step 1: Learn the Basics of Automotive Design

While you are in high school, you can start learning the basics of automotive design. You can take classes to learn all about cars and how they are made and put together, and you can take art classes that focus on design and drawing. This will prepare you for your career.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Automotive Design

There are a few schools that offer a Bachelor’s degree in transportation design, and you can also find programs in industrial design that have a concentration in transportation design. You will learn important skills such as drawing, car technology, research skills, model-making, computer aided drafting, and more. This will give you a competitive edge when you are looking for a job.

Step 3: Build a Portfolio

You should begin building your portfolio with your designs and your ideas when you are in school. You will need this to show that you are capable of creating designs that impress potential employers. Most Bachelor’s programs will help you build your portfolio, and you need to continue adding to it.

Step 4: Get a Job

You can apply for jobs once you have your degree. You might consider a graduate degree in automotive design if you want to get to the top of your profession. Once you get a job, you may be able to continue your education at night.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who want to be a car designer should be creative and detail oriented. You need to have skills for both the right side and the left side of your brain, and you need to merge them together. You should also love cars and enjoy being around people who share this passion. You will normally need to be part of a team, so you should enjoy working with others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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