When you think of the Ferrari brand, a few things probably come to mind: the prancing horse logo, expensive lifestyles and lots of speed. While the company had an astonishing $178 million net profit in the first quarter of 2018 and the brands is a status symbol for the world's elite, it hasn't always been that way. In its over 70 years in business, Ferrari has relied on the hard work and grit of its talented designers to become the brand it is today. Knowing how influential the designers are to Ferrari, you may wonder how much these designers make in a year, what exactly they do for this elite company and what it takes to get hired in such a prestigious position.
Automotive designers are the creative engine behind the cars, trucks and SUVs people drive every day. They use their knowledge of design principles to model the next generation of vehicles each year. At Ferrari, designers are expected to be creative, work within the brand's style and value innovation. Ferrari designers may use a combination of clay and computer-generated modeling techniques to design each car.
Ferrari hires car designers who have at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent in automotive design. Some candidates have a master's degree or other certificates that help them stand apart from the crowd. It's important to note that automotive design is a competitive field, and that is especially true for the luxury Italian brand. As such, the better the school you can get into for automotive design, the better your chances will be.
While in school, it is essential for would-be designers to build a strong portfolio. Students choose to study both clay and 3D computer modeling so they can be prepared for anything. Students who want to work with Ferrari should make a point to study the ogee, the S-shaped curve that is specific to the world of sports car design. And, if you don't already speak Italian, try to pick up a few phrases. Since Ferrari is quintessentially Italian, it can't hurt to know the language of your future colleagues.
The salary for Ferrari designers varies widely depending on rank, success and bonuses. LinkedIn reports the average salary for a design engineer at this company to be around $71,000. However, the company is more secretive about how much it pays its famous top designers. Additionally, Ferrari employees across the board receive substantial bonuses when the company does well. For example, each employee received a bonus worth three months of their salary and an additional $5,700 at the end of 2013, after the company made record sales.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies auto designers with other commercial and industrial designers. These professionals use their design skills and marketing knowledge to create products that look appealing and function well. Some have more of an engineering background, while others focus more on aesthetic appeal.
Ferrari's designers work in the company's headquarters in Italy alongside an elite team of car designers and engineers. The company's website says that it specifically looks for people who can work well individually and as part of a team. They expect every member of the team to have a passion for their work and operate with integrity.
Years of Experience
Ferrari values experience within the automotive industry, especially with sports cars. While the exact figures that Ferrari pays its designers are hidden, you can make some inferences based on the brand and trends in the field.
- 0-5 years: $65,000
- 5-10 years: $94,000
- 10-20 years: $90,000
- 20+ years: $102,000
While working for Ferrari has plenty of perks, don't expect discounts on the merchandise. In fact, only the brand's Formula One drivers are allowed to purchase Ferraris, and even they pay full price.
Job Growth Trend
Ferrari is undoubtedly a fast-growing company. However, whether or not the exclusive company will increase production is a topic of debate. Many signs point toward Ferrari making more cars in the future, which may mean they'll need more designers, but the jury is still out. The demand for industrial designers in the United States is expected to grow four percent between 2016 and 2026, which is slightly slower than the national average.
- Business Insider: How Ferrari Went From a Race Car Company to a Multi-Billion-Dollar Luxury Brand
- CNN Money: It Pays to Work at Ferrari
- LinkedIn: Design Engineer - Ferrari
- Ferrari: Working at Ferrari
- Payscale: Automotive Designer Salary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Commercial and Industrial Designers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Industrial Designers
- The Drive: Ferrari Employees Are Not Allowed to Buy Their Own Cars From the Factory
- Drive: Meet Ferrari's Dr No
- Finance Twitter: Revealed – This Is How Much Profit Ferrari Makes For Every Sports Car It Sells
- The Truth About Cars; Indian and Chinese Truck Builders After Ferrari Designer; Bertel Schmitt
- Autoblog; Ferrari Brings Budding Designers Together; Noah Joseph; June 2011
- Silicon.com; Ferrari Designer to Create "Fashionable" Mobiles; Lisa Burroughes; September 2001
- Car Design News; Ferrari SA Aperta; September 2010
- Car Design News: Ferrari 599 GTO
- "The Wall Street Journal"; The Coolest Ferrari Ever — Drive Carefully; Dan Neil; April 2011
- BBC News; Red Bull Designer Adrian Newey Rejected Ferrari Approach; Andrew Benson; March 2011
- MSchumacher.com: Racing History