Job Opportunities as an Automotive Engineer

The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells the world's motor vehicles. This industry owes its origin to the contributions made by renowned automotive engineers like Karl Benz, Henry Ford, and Rudolph Diesel. Top Automobile manufacturers like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota have certainly increased the prospects of automotive engineering and inspired many to pursue their careers in automotive engineering.

In 2008, with rapidly increasing oil prices, the industry is experiencing a combination of pricing pressures from raw material costs and changes in consumer buying habits. The industry is also facing increasing external competition form the public sector, as consumers re-evaluate their private vehicle usage.

Modern automotive engineering is a branch of vehicle engineering incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering as applied to the design, manufacture and operation of motorcycles, automobiles buses and trucks and their respective engineering subsystems. Automotive engineers are involved in almost every aspect of designing cars and trucks, form the initial concepts right through to manufacturing them.

Broadly speaking, automotive engineers are separated into three main streams: product engineering, development engineering and manufacturing engineering.

Product engineer (also called design engineer), designs components/systems (i.e. brake engineer and battery engineer). This engineer designs and tests a part, seeing that it meets all its requirements(i.e. the shock), performs as required, material meets desired durability and so on.

Development engineer that engineers the attributes of the automobile. This engineer may provide to the design engineer what spring rate he/she requires to provide the "ride" characteristics required for the automobile to perform as desired etc.

A manufacturing engineer determines how to make it.

In Toyota for example manufacturing engineering is regarded as a more prestigious career path than designing and developing the cars.

There Are Also Other Automotive Engineers
  • The aerodynamics engineers will often give guidance to the styling studio so that the shapes they design are aerodynamic, as well as attractive.
  • Body engineers will also let the studio know if it is feasible to make the panels for their designs.
As an automotive engineer, you could specialize in any stage of the motor manufacturing process, from the initial vehicle design through to the final production phase. Your exact duties would fall into one of three main areas: design, development and production. You would have overall responsibility for managing projects, supervising technical teams, writing reports and negotiating with clients.

To qualify for the position of an automobile engineer, one needs to have an education degree in BTEC HCN / HND or relative degrees. People with diplomas and other certificate courses can also apply for the post but their chances of getting the job are more if they also have some practical work experience.

Mechanical engineering, electric engineering, electronic engineering, production and manufacturing engineering are some of the most relevant subjects that can help in acquiring a job in this industry. With some training and experience one can also become specialist in various streams of the automobile engineering.

Skills and Training Required
  • A strong interest in motor vehicle engineering and design
  • A creative approach to problem solving
  • Excellent moths and IT skills (computer aided design)
  • The ability to analyze and interpret data
  • Excellent technical knowledge
  • Good communication and presentation skills
  • The ability to prioritize and plan effectively
  • The ability to work within constraints and to deadlines
  • A commitment to keep up to date with new technology
  • The ability to work as part of team and take responsibility
You could find work with vehicle manufacturing companies, design firms, parts suppliers and engineering consultancies. The UK is also a world center of excellence in the motor sport engineering industry. With experience, you could progress to senior engineer, project team management, general management and consultancy.

An automotive engineer is expected to get an average salary of $77,000 per year as per the current trends. Average automotive engineer salaries for job postings nationwide are 21% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide.

You could work for an automobile company if you think you have the caliber to think clearly and design uniquely. With experience you can easily move up the ladder and become a project manager or a consultant. So don't wait, just go get yourself a job.
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