The motor vehicle manufacturing industry employs several types of designers and engineers.
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It takes many different types of workers to make a car. Some of these workers, designers and engineers, are tasked with innovating new designs for the interiors and exteriors of automobiles. In general, these positions usually require at least a bachelor's degree, and sometimes require more extensive education in order to be promoted into supervisory positions.
Commercial designers, sometimes called industrial designers, work to create ever-flashier models of automobiles. It is their job to design attractive exteriors that will entice consumers. As of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 310 commercial designers worked in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry. Although estimates for the earnings of commercial designers within motor vehicle manufacturing are not available for 2012, commercial designers earned an average pay of $62, 430 across all industries.
Mechanical engineers focus on improving engines and other aspects of automobiles, such as heating and cooling systems. They develop prototypes for new types of engines and oversee the testing and manufacturing processes. As of 2012, the BLS reports that about 4, 880 mechanical engineers were employed in motor vehicle manufacturing and earned an average of $91, 990 per year.
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Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Modern automobiles are increasingly reliant on complex electrical systems. Electronics engineers design and test new types of electronic components. Electrical engineers figure out how to wire these components into a complete, working electrical system that will power a vehicle. As of 2012, electrical and electronics engineers working in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry reported an average annual income of $101, 120.
Technicians and Drafters
Although they aren't expected to produce innovations of their own, drafters and engineering technicians are nonetheless crucial to the car-design process. Under the supervision of engineers, technicians test new car designs. Drafters are tasked with visually mapping out the designs of engineers so that they can be properly manufactured. Unlike design and engineering positions, these jobs typically require only an associate's degree. As of 2012, drafters working in automotive manufacturing were paid an average of $51, 130 per year. Engineering technicians in the industry earned an average of $59, 880 per year.