How To Become An Automotive Engineer
Career Video: Automotive Engineer
Do you have a passion for the automotive industry, design, and engineering? Maybe you have always wondered how automotives such as cars, buses, trucks, and motorcycles, are engineered and designed? How do all of the parts come together to form a working automotive? If you have ever asked yourself the aforementioned questions, you may want to explore the field of automotive engineering!
Why Become An Automotive Engineer
Automotive engineers are responsible for designing the mechanisms and systems of a ground-based vehicle. Furthermore, automotive engineers look for potential issues within automotive designs and work to solve the issues. Automotive engineers design and test their safety mechanisms, engines, brake systems, transmissions, and fuel systems trough computer systems. Innovative computer technology such as Corel Painter Sketch Pad, Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE, and ThinkDesign Engineering software gives automotive engineers the creative freedom to produce incredible designs. Prototypes of vehicles and vehicle parts are made throughout the engineering process, to ensure the automobile will not only be reliable, but safe for the driver.
Qualities & Skills For An Automotive Engineer
If you are looking for employment within the field of automotive engineering, be aware that you will need to possess the following qualities and skills for an automotive engineer position.
- Mathematical Skills – As an automotive engineer, you will need strong mathematical skills in order to evaluate, analyze, and solve engineering issues. Automotive engineers need to have strong calculus, geometry, and trigonometry skills to design their automotive components, systems, or structures.
- Creativity Skills – Automotive engineers must have creative abilities, as they need to have a creative mind to design and construct automotive structures, systems, and components. Innovative computer technology such as Corel Painter Sketch Pad, Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE, and ThinkDesign Engineering software gives automotive engineers the creative freedom to produce incredible designs.
- Problem-Solving Skills – As an automotive engineer, you will need to have proficient problem-solving skills, as you may need to solve automotive or troubleshoot issues with a team.
- Listening Skills – Automotive engineers often work on various projects that involve other engineers or professionals; therefore, it is imperative that you analyze and listen to the various opinions and prospectives you may encounter.
- Mechanical Skills – Automotive engineers must have strong engineering abilities to understand automotive engineering concepts and automotive processes in order to construct new designs and systems.
Automotive Engineer Work Environment
Automotive engineers typically work as a team, working more than full-time to complete their projects and prototypes. They may be found working in an office setting or within an automotive manufacturing plant. Within their line of work, automotive engineers may utilize tools such as workshop presses, grinders, and machine tools to construct prototypes for testing.
Automotive Engineer Salary
Automotive engineers fall within the categories of engineering and mechanical engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013, the Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed that the mean annual wage of a mechanical engineer was $82,100.
Automotive Engineer Career Outlook
Automotive engineers fall within the categories of engineering and mechanical engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 2012 to 2022, the overall employment of engineers is expected to grow at least 9%, which is faster than average for all occupations. From 2012 to 2022, the overall employment of mechanical engineers is expected to grow slower, at 5%.
Automotive Engineer Degree
There are few undergraduate and graduate institutions that offer specific degrees in automotive engineering; therefore, you may want to do your research on the career path. Accordingly, prospective automotive engineering students may want to first pursue a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Within many mechanical engineering programs, you will most likely be able to specialize within the area of automotive engineering.
Your coursework may include engine parts, automobile dynamics, fuel cell systems, powertrain dynamics, and alternative energy sources. Although a Master’s degree is not necessary to obtain a career in the automotive engineering industry, it will provide you with advanced skills and knowledge of the automotive engineering field.
Throughout your coursework, you may want to obtain an apprenticeship or internship within the field.You may be able to acquire an internship or apprenticeship at an automotive manufacturer or supplier. Upon graduating from your institution of choice, it is imperative that you become licensed within the field of automotive engineering. In order to become certified, you must graduate from an ABET-accredited program, have some automotive engineering experience and pass two, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Survey exams.
Licensure in the field will allow you to provide consulting services and bid on government contracts if you work for a manufacturer. It is vital to your education to continue learning as much as you can about the automotive engineering industry. The Society of Automotive Engineers continually offers educational opportunities for individuals within the field.