A medley of companies compete for the expertise and skills of these scientific professionals. Producers of automobiles and commercial vehicles as well as component manufacturers employ these types of engineers to work on luxury, sport and utility vehicles and their supporting parts. In addition to the auto industry, design firms, industrial equipment manufacturers, energy firms, and competitive racing teams endeavor to secure the services of vehicle engineers. With these types of firms, these professionals dedicate their efforts to constructing prototypes and models of parts, the application of evaluation processes, computer software, and physical integrity measurements. Along these lines, professionals may endeavor in developing equipment and parts that meet evolving market conditions, customer tastes, and government safety and health requirements. In addition, they may refine design specifications, examine the environmental implications of a project, oversee the installation of new or enhanced assets into production facility, and/or investigate realized or potential failures in an engineering system. From a business executive perspective, vehicle engineers may negotiate with suppliers in managing contracts, delivery schedules, and logistics as well as track project budgets. Global companies such as General Motors, Tesla, Chevron, Johnson Controls, and Toyota serve as a sample of the firms in the market for these types of employees.
Very few U.S. universities offer official degrees in vehicle engineering, and thus most practitioners in the field elect to study mechanical engineering. A Bachelor’s Degree is required as a minimum qualification for securing employment in the field. Many mechanical engineering programs integrate courses in automotive electronics and power systems into their curriculum. Students aspiring for the academic certification should demonstrate a strong interest and capacity in math and science courses such as calculus, physics, and more importantly computer science, as most vehicles and systems are based on digital platforms. Students who embark upon advanced education at the graduate level have the skills and training to thrive in the global marketplace. Professionals with Master’s degrees and/or Ph.D.’s have focused their efforts on hybrid electric automotive technology and systems cases. Furthermore, they have the ability to assume senior executive positions within their firms, while others branch out to begin their own ventures. Engineers with this level of academic and professional experience also teach college students. Other skills that have proven to serve aspiring candidates well include strong problem solving skills, superb written and oral communication capacities, multitasking, budget management, team-building and social skills, as well as independent judgment.