An automotive engineer creates and improves mechanisms and designs within the automotive field. The automotive engineer may work for an original equipment manufacturer or for a company that manufactures cars. Much of the work is done on a computer with CAD software, so proficiency with design software is necessary. However, some of the work is hands-on, such as tests that are carried out to try out new technologies. The automotive engineer will often be tasked with coming up with designs relating to electrical components, electrical circuits, car software, and car bodies.
A strong understanding of vehicle construction is necessary. Experience with product design is necessary for many jobs, through internships are often offered to gain the necessary experience. The automotive engineer may also be expected to analyze sales performance, in order to determine what customers are looking for. The engineer may work in an office environment for a majority of the time, but sometimes fieldwork is necessary to gain direct insight on how designs work. Some work may be done independently, as tasks are often delegated and divided up, but teamwork skills are also essential.
Generally, a minimum of an associate’s degree in engineering is required, though many positions require a master’s degree. Usually, the degree should be in mechanical engineering, computer science, general engineering, or something else that is technical in nature.
Automotive Engineer Tasks
- Plans and engineers the assembly of whole vehicles and individual parts.
- Conducts research that tests and analyzes design, operation, and performance of components and systems.
- Writes technical reports, handbooks, and bulletins for use by staff or customers.