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Career as Automotive Designer

The field of Automotive design is a mix of engineering, business acumen and creativity. Automotive design is an ever-changing field and offers the designer to create patterns based on variable trends. Automotive designers are responsible for designing the components and appearance of automobiles which may range from buses to cars. The mechanical and electronic aspects of a vehicle are handled by engineers, whereas automotive designers handle the looks and appearance. The design process involves discussion with several stakeholders which include managers and supervisors who are in charge of the production process. Once the decision related to costs and production has been taken, designs are prepared via sketches and CAD software. The duties of a designer include developing layouts of components like hoods, lamps, doors and involves creating sketches of the same. The design process also involves engineers to ensure that the final design meets the expectations.

Job Profile

Career as Automotive Designer

The duty of an Automotive Designer includes the preparation of layouts for automobile components, using different models and prototypes. A designer is also responsible for taking
into consideration the designs which may affect the car models, understand the technicalities and collaborate with the engineers to resolve the issues. The role involves calculating the pros and cons of a design to come out with the right design, which reflects the company’s vision.

According to Experts, the industry is expected to grow at a rate of 3% between 2018 to 2028. The demand for new vehicles is the major factor responsible for the growth of the industry. With the emphasis on design, comfort and reliability, the need for Automotive Designers is on the rise and is likely to result in increasing employment opportunities. Automotive Designers are being employed by vehicle manufacturers, tyre manufacturers, research labs, vehicle design companies and Oil & Fuel companies.

The starting salary for designers is Rs 3.5 Lakh per annum and experienced professionals can earn around Rs 12 Lakh per annum. Some of the top companies recruiting in India include Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hyundai. 

Future Growth Prospects and How to get there faster

India is witnessing rapid growth in the Automobile industry and as per a report of SIAM, the growth rate is expected to be around 12% every year. This presents an opportunity for a candidate looking to pursue a career in Automotive Design to grab a job opportunity coupled with an attractive salary. Candidates with strong technical skills and a creative mind have a chance to progress in the industry. An example of such a successful designer is Dilip Chhabria. He has proved his worth by delivering the best car designs and winning the hearts of many. Thus, a career in Automobile Design offers to be promising in terms of job growth. 

Pros and Cons of an Automotive Designer

Automotive Designers are responsible for dealing with designs and components of an automobile. If you are ready to become an Automotive Designer, it is important to know the
pros and cons of being in this profession.


  • Growth in creative skills
  • Ability to add value to products, making them fit for practical usage
  • Portfolio building
  • Staying updated with the latest in automobile industry

  • Slow job growth
  • Lack of creativity can result in delayed progress
  • Independent designers need to look for new projects continuously
  • Design failures

How do I get there?

One can read the latest auto magazines to deepen interest in the domain as well as know the industry trends. Candidates who look to pursue a career in Automotive Design are required to have a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Design or Automotive Engineering. Some designers may also have a background related to sketching and drawing. Colleges offer programs which include classes on drawing, 3D design, model making, industrial materials and colour theory. A portfolio class is also provided by many colleges to help students showcase their artistic abilities and type of work. Internship opportunities for students help them gain valuable experience and even a chance to later apply for permanent employment at the company.

To pursue, Automobile Engineering, a student after class 12 from science stream with subjects like physics, mathematics, design and computer science must have a BE or B.Tech in Automobile, Electrical or Mechanical branches. Even diploma holders can take an AMIE exam to be on par with the degree holders.

Students who have completed their graduation can consider applying for a master’s degree in Automotive Design, industrial design or engineering. With an advanced degree a student can get better job opportunities with a chance for increased pay and boost chances of employment in an growing competitive environment. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Design course lies between Rs 1 to 12 Lakh depending upon the type of institute and its reputation. For a student who wishes to pursue a Masters course, the fees lie in the range of Rs 6 to 13 Lakh. Short term Diploma courses and Integrated courses for a five year term are also available.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become an Automotive Designer?

Some of the top colleges which offer Automotive Design courses include the following :


Rank of College

Name of College

Fee Structure (in Rs) 


National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

M.Des - Rs. 7.21 Lakh - 30 months


IDC, IIT Bombay 

B.Des - Rs. 130000 per year 

M.Des - Rs.32600 per semester 


MIT Institute of Design, Pune

Diploma - Rs. 6.34 Lakh - 24 months 



Certification course - Rs 35.50 Lakh - 60 months 

DYP-DC, Pune 

B.Des - Rs 20 Lakh - 48 months 

Books and other Study Material

Students can refer to the books which include: 

1. Automobile Engineering Vol 1 & Vol 2 by Kirpal Singh
2. Automotive Mechanics by William Crouse &‎ Donald Anglin
3. Race Car Vehicle Dynamics by Milliken & Milliken
4. Bosch Automotive Handbook
5. Automotive Master Technician by Graham Stoakes

What if this career does not work out for me? What are the other options for a person with these credentials?

A career as an Automotive Designer is the perfect mix of engineering and creativity. A student who has a creative bent of mind coupled with the love for automobiles will never see work as a complicated task. Apart from working on the design part, one can also get involved in research and development, look into technical specifications as well as testing & maintenance.

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Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile

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