You may have better automobile designs than Ranker’s best looking car brand – McLaren P1. But the issue is, the designs are unrefined in your head and you don’t know how to bring it to life. We can tell you with certainty that what you need is an automotive design school. An automotive design degree from one of the best automobile design schools will convert your unrefined auto designs to world wonders.
One of the best automotive designers in the world, Giorgetto Giugiaro, attended a technical design school to hone his passion for sketching automobiles. This renowned Italian automobile designer designed the Lamborghini Marco Polo concept car in 1982, which may not have been possible without the right education.
Therefore, in this post, we would guide you on the right education you need to become a car designer. We would show you the right degrees you need and the best schools to attend to get them. We will also give you adequate career information for automobile designers and answer some questions you may be asking. Stay with us.
- What is Automotive Design?
- What Kind of Education do you Need to Become an Automotive Designer?
- Why Attend an Automotive Design School in the US?
- Best Automotive Design Schools in the USA
- Schools with the best Industrial Design program
- Best Automotive Engineering Schools
- What is the Best Automotive Design School?
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What is Automotive Design?
The word automotive is a term that refers to automobiles or simply put, vehicles. In this vein, automotive design is simply the discipline that involves the process of developing the appearance and aesthetics of vehicles. However, the discipline may reach deep into creating the product concept – vehicles, in this case.
Thus, the design and development of a car involve the team effort of automotive designers and professionals from other disciplines.
Furthermore, automotive design has three aspects – exterior design, interior design, and color and trim design. The automotive design also involves graphics design. However, the whole team shares this aspect, the same way they do the functionality of the vehicle.
Who is an Automotive Designer?
The automotive or automobile designer is the professional who develops the idea of the appearance of a vehicle’s exterior and interior. This professional is usually an industrial and design engineer who makes sure that their designs are functional and beautiful.
The major role of an automobile designer is the development of a design for automobiles.
So, to achieve this, they start by using computer software programs to sketch out new designs. When the sketching is complete, they create a prototype to easily relate their design to the rest of the team.
As such, they work closely with automotive specialists to ensure that the vehicle is functional and appealing to the customers.
When the work is complete, the automobile designer will then evaluate the finished design to make sure it complies with safety requirements.
Automotive designers earn a wage commensurate to the technicality of their job. Their career is a highly fulfilling one.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for an Automotive Designer is $86,616.
However, Nissan North America pays its Automotive Designers as high as $93,697 annually. That’s close to six a six-figure salary, right?
It could be higher than this in an actual situation as these figures are only estimates.
What Kind of Education do you Need to Become an Automotive Designer?
The minimum educational requirement for automotive designers is a bachelor’s degree. However, you will hardly see a college in the USA offering an automotive designer degree.
You will need either an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design, Automotive Engineering, or Industrial Engineering to progress in your career.
If you choose an Industrial Degree program, you will take courses in design research methods, design materials, and physics. You will also complete a studio course along the line.
For Industrial Engineering, however, your program will cover courses in computer science and electronics technology.
Finally, for Automotive engineering, you will take courses in prototype and operational testing and vehicular systems technology.
Why Attend an Automotive Design School in the US?
The United States of America is one study location that is apt for almost every kind of education program. Not only do they have the right facilities and faculty, but the right university for each program. With over 5,000 universities and colleges in the USA, there is surely a wide option of colleges available to you to choose from.
Although some programs may be pretty expensive, especially if you are an international student, several others are quite affordable. Meanwhile, US universities and colleges offer tons of scholarships to students who study in the USA.
Specifically, the United States of America is one of the best locations in the world to study automotive design. They have some of the leading automobile companies like General Motors where you can quickly get employment after graduation if you’re excellent enough.
They also offer some of the best automotive design programs that inculcate internships into their curriculum so that you can acquire some hands-on experience in the field.
Best Automotive Design Schools in the USA
The best educational path to take to become an automotive engineer is a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design or Automotive Engineering. As such, you will need to attend the best Industrial Design Schools or Automotive Engineering Schools for Automotive Designers.
Therefore, we will treat the best automobile design schools in the USA based on the following:
For any of the above categories, we selected the best based on the following criteria:
1. Number of Programs or Degree Offering
2. Relevant Program Accreditation
3. Acceptance Rate
4. Employability Rate
Generally, our ranking schools all have relevant program accreditation, thus the ranking will be an interplay of the other criteria.
Schools with the best Industrial Design program
If you’ll be acquiring an Industrial Design degree in your quest to become an automotive designer, ensure to attend any of these schools:
Best Automotive Engineering Schools
Here are the best Automotive Engineering schools and their programs, if you’ll be taking this educational path towards an automotive design career:
What is the Best Automotive Design School?
You can get either an Industrial Design degree or an automotive design degree and still be on the right track to an automotive design career, but one is better. Industrial design is closer to automotive design than automotive engineering. This is because automobile design requires high creativity, which is a quality that pertains more to artists than engineers.
Also, an artist needs only to know little about the engineering of a project to design something amazing. Whereas, an engineer would need to learn a lot about the creative process to design a similar project, though he may excellently put it into functionality.
So, while the Industrial designer has the artist’s advantage – which is key to automotive design – over the automotive engineer, an industrial design degree will favor you more than an automobile degree.
Therefore, the best automobile design school to study a degree program towards an automotive career is Arizona State University.
How Can I become a car designer?
To become a car designer, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant feild of study. During your time of study, you should also complete an internship program to help build your portfolio. Next is to find a job in the industry to gain work experience, then progress in your career by taking a graduate degree. Finally, you should consider joining a trade association.
What education do you need to become a car designer?
You need at least a four-year bachelor degree to become a car designer. An associate’s degree is not an option.
How Can I get into an automotive design school?
To get into an automotive design school, you must ensure to have graduated from high school and meet the automotive school design’s admission requirements. For example, to apply for ASU’s Undergraduate Industrial Design Program, you must the academic requirements of completing 4 years of math, 4 years of English (non-ESL/ELL courses), 3 years of lab sciences (1 year each from biology, chemistry, earth science, integrated sciences or physics), 2 years of social sciences (including 1 year American history), 2 years of same second language, and 1 year of fine arts or 1 year career and technical education.
Where can I study automotive engineering?
You can study automotive engineering in four-year degree offering college or university offering an automotive engineering program or a mechanical engineering program with a concentration in automotive engineering.
How many years does it take to become an automotive engineer?
It takes at least four years of completing your degree to become an automotive engineer.
How can I work as a car designer?
To be able to work as a car designer, you must have completed an automobile degree. It is only then that employers will consider your jon application. However, you will need to have built a wonderful portfolio alongside your degree to get car designing job.
How much do car designers make?
According to Glassdoor, an automotive designer makes anywhere between $86,616 and $93,697 annually.
To become an automotive designer, you would either take an industrial design degree program, an automotive engineering degree program, or an industrial engineering program. Whichever route you take, there is an exciting career awaiting you as an automotive designer. However, an industrial design degree is the closest degree to actualizing your career goal. Therefore, ensure to attend one of the best industrial design schools and take internship positions to build your career portfolio.
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Arizona State University (ASU) is the best school in the USA to study industrial design degree programs towards an automotive or automobile design career that pays well. See the other Industrial design and automotive engineering schools you can attend today to become an automotive designer.