The average starting salary for a car designer at a major company is around $50,000 per year, according to the Automotive Design Executive Recruitment service Autovision. Salaries vary considerably depending on factors such as talent, location and experience.
Car designers come up with the basic concepts that are eventually turned into finished cars. They are responsible for designing the interior and exterior of cars, with an eye toward both appearance and functionality. The most successful designers often make salaries of over $100,000 per year. Higher level employees, such as chief designers and directors of design, can make anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000 annually. Creativity, art and design skills are vital for automobile designers.