Car designers -- who might be industrial designers or automotive engineers -- are the folks who ensure your ride is comfortable, fuel efficient and safe. A sub-discipline of mechanical engineering, automotive engineering requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Industrial designers also need a baccalaureate. Salaries for automotive engineers and industrial designers vary according to experience, location and other factors.
About the Money
Mechanical engineers who worked in motor vehicle parts manufacturing -- the group most likely to include automotive engineers -- earned $79,170 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. O_NET Online reported automotive engineers earned a median salary of $82,100 in 2013. Indeed.com reported an average annual salary of $82,000 in 2014.Industrial designers earned an average annual salary of $64,570 in 2013, according to the BLS, with a salary range from $35,530 to $96,570. Industrial designers who worked in motor vehicle parts manufacturing earned $65,630. O_NET Online reports industrial designers earned a median salary of $62,370 in 2013. The average salary for industrial designers in 2014 was $82,000, according to Indeed.com.