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Automotive Engineer

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What is an Automotive Engineer?

Job Description & Duties Develop new or improved designs for vehicle structural members, engines, transmissions, or other vehicle systems, using computer-assisted design technology. Direct building, modification, or testing of vehicle or components.

Daily Life Of an Automotive Engineer

  • Research computerized automotive applications, such as telemetrics, intelligent transportation systems, artificial intelligence, or automatic control.
  • Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.
  • Design vehicles for increased recyclability or use of natural, renewable, or recycled materials in vehicle construction.
  • Read current literature, attend meetings or conferences, or talk with colleagues to stay abreast of new automotive technology or competitive products.
  • Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
  • Design or analyze automobile systems in areas such as aerodynamics, alternate fuels, ergonomics, hybrid power, brakes, transmissions, steering, calibration, safety, or diagnostics.

Things an Automotive Engineer Should Know How to Do

When polled, Automotive Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

  • Customer Quality Engineer
  • Low-Emission Automobile Designer
  • Automotive Project Engineer
  • Fuel-Efficient Automobile Designer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer

Is There Going to be Demand for Automotive Engineers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 288,800 jobs in the United States for Automotive Engineer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,300 new jobs for Automotive Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 21,200 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Automotive Engineer are Nevada, Utah, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Automotive Engineer

Automotive Engineers make between $56,270 and $136,550 a year.

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Automotive Engineers who work in District of Columbia, New Mexico, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Automotive Engineers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $90,030
Alaska $128,690
Arizona $98,390
Arkansas $71,730
California $107,370
Colorado $104,220
Connecticut $94,270
Delaware $106,220
District of Columbia $112,780
Florida $87,770
Georgia $84,870
Hawaii $81,730
Idaho $86,010
Illinois $92,030
Indiana $82,510
Iowa $80,530
Kansas $82,210
Kentucky $84,380
Louisiana $101,810
Maine $93,310
Maryland $109,960
Massachusetts $98,190
Michigan $91,100
Minnesota $87,030
Mississippi $85,570
Missouri $85,450
Montana $77,140
Nebraska $80,650
Nevada $88,950
New Hampshire $97,270
New Jersey $95,680
New Mexico $110,210
New York $91,820
North Carolina $87,470
North Dakota $75,770
Ohio $81,020
Oklahoma $88,190
Oregon $85,890
Pennsylvania $85,740
Rhode Island $94,520
South Carolina $93,730
South Dakota $76,220
Tennessee $87,990
Texas $105,570
Utah $88,150
Vermont $94,580
Virginia $100,540
Washington $96,860
West Virginia $84,070
Wisconsin $79,360
Wyoming $84,200

What Tools & Technology do Automotive Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Automotive Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Git
  • Python
  • Node.js
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • IBM Notes
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • UNIX
  • Computer aided design CAD software

Becoming an Automotive Engineer

Learn what Automotive Engineer education requirements there are.

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Automotive Engineer?

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Who Employs Automotive Engineers?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

Image Credit: Michel Villeneuve via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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