Car Designer

Career Definition

Car designers use product design principles to create practical yet innovative ideas for new automobiles. They often work with engineers to make sure that their designs can be made into functioning automobiles that will appeal to consumers, and they use emerging technology to create cars that are environmentally friendly and affordable.
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Experience or Education of Car Designer

The work of an auto designer combines artistry with technical and scientific know-how. The finished designs must incorporate esthetic and functional concerns within the practical framework of business and manufacturing. The minimum requirement for most auto design jobs is a bachelor's degree in a related field, although some designers have master's degrees. A professional portfolio and an internship will also help you secure a job after graduation.
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Salary and Location

The car designer, upon successful graduation from university, will need to be prepared to go where the work is, and in the automotive industry, that means looking internationally. First year placements can be unpaid, although remuneration becomes favourable on completion of successful placement. In the UK, the average salary is estimated to be around £50,000. Rates for second and third-year designers with automotive giants in the US range from $43,500 to $57,391. This does not just cover US-based manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, Chrysler), but also international makers with US-based design houses (Mazda and Volvo being two examples). The reason this is relatively unfavourable compared to the UK is probably due to the fact that UK manufacturers tend to focus on niche sports or prestige markets, and not the mainstream “consumer” vehicles.
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Professional organizations/groups of Car Designers

AutoDesignO (the Automotive Design Organization) is a professional association, which is advancing improved access to people, essential information, as well as a culture exchange within the design profession, and beyond the studio walls. The organization strives to expand the presence and prominence of the design industry.

Keep California Beautiful (KCB) is a nonprofit environmental education organization, chartered by the state of California in 1990. By actively developing and coordinating business, government and public partnerships, KCB encourages grassroots responsibility for California's environment by promoting cleanup, beautification, recycling and waste reduction efforts.

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