What is Automobile Design?
Automobile design is the process of designing the appearance and functionality of automobiles, including cars, trucks, vans, buses, and even motorcycles.
The interior and exterior of every vehicle on the market today was designed by automobile designers. These designers are usually responsible for the color scheme of an automobile, along with the way the vehicle is shaped. Besides making a vehicle attractive, designers are also partly responsible for designing the shape of the car as well.
What Does an Automobile Designer Do?
Every automobile starts with a simple idea, and it’s an automobile designer’s job to come up with these ideas. Usually, automobile designers work in teams, with other designers or engineers. Depending on the circumstances, designers may need to develop
Once a concept has been formed, an automobile designer will then make basic sketches of the automobile using CAD, or computer-aided drafting. This computer software can then be used to make a much more detailed drawing of the vehicle. These drawings are usually 3-D images, which will often include every little detail of a vehicle, from the curves of the headlights to the tip of the exhaust. The color scheme of a vehicle, inside and out is also usually represented in these drawings.
After the drawings are complete, automobile designers will also usually create a scale model, or sculpture, of the vehicle using clay.
What Skills Should an Aspiring Automobile Designer Have?
First of all, an automobile designer should have a love and appreciation for everything on the road. He should have a basic understanding of how cars are built and how they work.
Creativity, along with drawing and sculpting skills, are also excellent skills to have when pursuing an automobile design career.
What are the Education Requirements for a Career in Automobile Design?
A Bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement in order to begin an automobile design career. These are usually offered through art and technical schools, as well as traditional universities. Some automobile designers may even choose to earn Master’s degrees as well, but while these degrees may enable designers to command higher salaries, they are not absolutely necessary. Individuals interested in an automobile design career should focus on classes that involve automotive or transportation design.
While in school, aspiring automobile designers will usually take courses that focus on designing cars and other road vehicles, as well as vehicle dynamics. Math, CAD, and model making classes may also be necessary in order to earn a degree in automobile design.
Internships are also fairly common before starting an automobile design career. By participating in an internship, a student will have the opportunity to work alongside experience professionals in the automobile design industry. This enables them to gain valuable experience, and it also helps them build up their portfolios. Students that participate in internships might also receive an offer for employment after they graduate.
Where Does an Automobile Designer Work?
The majority of automobile designers work in the concept and design departments at large automobile manufacturers. This is a very competitive field, and it can be difficult to break into.
Since cars are used across the globe, however, there will always be a place in the work force for talented automobile designers. Even during economic slumps, for instance, car manufacturers are always on the lookout for designers that can come up with new and innovative ideas, which will ultimately boost sales.
What is the Mean Annual Salary of an Automobile Designer?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep track of the salaries of automobile designers specifically, but these types of designers fall under the category of industrial designers.
In 2010, the mean annual salary for specialized designers in the industrial design field was $58,230. Salaries of automobile designers, however, can vary depending on numerous factors, including their talent, experience, and location.