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What does an Automotive Engineer do?

Learn all about Automotive Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Automotive Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

An automotive engineer is someone who designs, develops, and tests vehicles and components. This can include everything from the engine and transmission to the suspension and brakes. Automotive engineers work with a team of other engineers and technicians to create a functional and safe vehicle.

Automotive Engineer job duties include:

  • Researching and developing ideas for new automotive products
  • Designing and conducting tests to evaluate the performance, durability and safety of vehicles and components
  • Investigating and diagnosing vehicle faults
  • Analysing data from tests and field trials to identify potential improvements or areas for further investigation
  • Preparing reports and presentations detailing the findings of their work
  • Liaising with other engineers, technicians and managers to discuss the feasibility of proposed designs or modifications
  • Identifying potential production or design problems and suggesting solutions
  • Supervising the work of technicians and other engineers during vehicle development projects
  • Managing budgets and timelines for assigned projects

Automotive Engineer Job Requirements

Automotive engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, development and manufacture of vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks. Automotive engineers can specialize in a particular area, such as engine design or vehicle body design. They may also work on the development of new technologies for use in automotive applications.

Education: A bachelor's degree in engineering is typically required to become an automotive engineer. Some colleges and universities offer programs specifically in automotive engineering, but many students choose to study a more general engineering program and then specialize in automotive engineering through their coursework.

Certification: There are no specific certification requirements for automotive engineers, but many choose to become certified through professional organizations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers or the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Experience: Many automotive engineers have several years of experience working in the automotive industry before becoming engineers. This experience can be gained through internships or co-op programs during college, or by working in entry-level positions at an auto manufacturer or supplier after graduation.

Automotive Engineer Skills

  • CAD
  • CAM
  • CAE
  • DFMEA
  • PFMEA
  • GD&T
  • Six Sigma
  • 8D
  • DMAIC
  • APQP
  • PPAP

Related: Top Automotive Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Automotive Engineer

There are many different types of engineers, but automotive engineers are responsible for designing, developing and testing vehicles and their parts. To become an automotive engineer, you will need to have a strong interest in cars and how they work. You will also need to be good at math and science, as these subjects will form the basis of your engineering education.

If you want to become an automotive engineer, you will need to get a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited school. During your studies, you will take classes in physics, chemistry and mathematics. You will also learn about the principles of engineering and how to apply them to the design of cars and their parts. After you have completed your degree, you may want to consider getting a master’s degree in engineering or a related field.

Once you have your degree, you will need to find a job with an automotive company. Many engineers start their careers in research and development, working on new technologies or improving existing ones. You could also work in manufacturing, where you would help oversee the production of car parts or vehicles. If you are interested in management, you could eventually become a project manager or an executive at an automotive company.

No matter what career path you choose, you will need to keep up with new technologies and developments in the automotive industry. You will also need to be able to work well with other people, as most engineering projects are done by teams of engineers. If you have these qualities, then you have what it takes to become an automotive engineer.

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