You want to be a Car Designer
Today there are few Automotive Designers that achieved significant success in their field without extensive and focused training. This is a very specialized field of study, unlike Architectural Design, Product Design, etc., and requires an intimate understanding of many disciplines, including the ability to “See”. Professional training is essential. The main thing to remember is that you need to focus on cultural studies, the arts, and specifically, an Industrial Design or Art Degree, NOT engineering.
Design is a way of life. It’s about learning how to see everything around you in a different way. It’s a way to learn to have intuitive vision of the future, and the skill of "seeing" can be learned (as opposed to ‘god given’), by anyone who has the desire. The mechanics of learning this vision is in learning how to draw really, really well. Extremely well. If you can do this, and want to do this, you have the basis for being a “Designer”.
First is learning how to draw things you can see. Then, learning how to draw what only you can imagine. What counts is your ideas for what the future holds. Tomorrow. Not today. You can talk all day and explain about what something looks like, but until you make an illustration of this, no one really knows what you're talking about.
Illustration along with vision is essential. Learning to see what it is, is learning how to draw. Then, being able to forecast the future, through your illustrations, is design. The more mature purpose of design is "to improve the equality of life for everyone", is it not?
Salary ranges are from about $50K yr. for an entry level designer, in a major company, all the way up through $100K + for the best and most successful senior designers. Chief, Directors and VPs of Design can earn from $150k to $500k annually, but there are very few that make to the top of this scale. Salary should not be anyone’s motivation for a career path. Doing what you love to do, and get paid well for it, is a better motivation.