What is Automotive Engineering Technology?
Automotive engineering technology is a branch of mechanical engineering that prepares students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to construct, repair and modify systems and machines related to automobiles. Individuals will work to implement new technologies, utilize more efficient designs, and ensure that the vehicle being designed is free of any defects. Individuals must be able to draw up diagrams, should have a strong background in math and physics and should be able to follow schematics as part of the engineering process.
Individuals enrolled in a program for automotive engineering technology will learn about the various sciences involved in the development of such systems. Programs in automotive engineering technology are limited in availability and as a result most individuals interested in pursuing the field often choose mechanical engineering programs that offer a similar education in the sciences. Students may then add additional courses to one's curriculum relevant to the area of automobiles in order to gear their education toward automotive engineering. Regardless of the type of program, science and mathematics will play a quintessential role in one's ability to properly perform the tasks required.
A curriculum in automotive engineering technology may include:
- Automotive Technology and Systems
- Fluid Power
- Industrial Safety
- Composite Materials
Employment Opportunities and Job Growth
Individuals working in automotive engineering technology will find themselves working on all parts of development of vehicles. Individuals will develop engines, electrical systems, chassis and more. Engineers who enter the industry will work under experienced professionals, typically assigned to specific areas in order to obtain practical experience in the various aspects of production and design. Additionally, such engineers will be responsible for the testing and implementation of designs and develop procedures to maintain finished products.
Careers in automotive engineering technology are limited and the market for jobs is expected to shrink. This is due to the increased production due to automation and technical testing and design through advancements in computer technology. As a result, jobs are competitive, though qualified and talented individuals are in continued demand. Students who pursue mechanical engineering rather than automotive engineering technology may have more career options outside of the automotive industry.
Salary and Related Fields
The average salary for an automotive engineer is approximately $90, 000 per year. Salary increases with experience and education. Individuals with managerial experience may become team leaders or division heads, increasing earning potential greatly within a corporate environment.