Automotive engineering is a combination of mechanical, electrical and materials science. Engineers in this field can design new vehicles or look for ways to improve existing automotive engineering technology. Read on to learn more about automotive engineering.
Inside Automotive Engineering
Automotive engineers can design and test brake systems, engines, safety mechanisms, fuel technologies and transmissions. In the field, engineers use design software to devise new vehicle designs or systems, including ThinkDesign Engineering, Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE or Corel Painter Sketch Pad. Some engineers also use grinders, machine tools and workshop presses to fabricate prototype parts for testing.
Undergraduate programs in this field are most commonly offered in automotive engineering technology, which can cover the basic principles of engineering along with modern vehicle design requirements in terms of safety, fuel economy and industrial manufacturing. Graduates of these programs can become qualified to assist engineers, but not to become engineers themselves. While master's degree programs in automotive engineering are available, automotive engineering is a complex and interdisciplinary field, so students may also find relevant coursework through graduate programs in electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering.
Individuals interested in designing, testing and creating automotive systems may be drawn to this line of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for engineers in general was expected to be about 11% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). Automotive engineers, falling into the broader classification of mechanical engineers, earned a median annual salary of $78,160 in 2010, according to the BLS.
Learn More About Automotive Engineering
If you want to learn about different degree and career options, you can browse free articles and informational resources at Education-Portal.com to learn more.
Most students earn a degree and enter the workforce as engineers. However, many positions are focused on automotive design or testing.
- Automotive Engineering Technician
- Automotive Design Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- Automobile Designer
- Vehicle Designer
A 4-year degree is the minimum qualification for most automotive engineering positions. Students can also earn a degree online or pursue a graduate program to work as an automotive engineering supervisor.
- Selecting a Car Engineering Program
- Automotive Design Programs
- Auto Design Training
- Selecting an Automotive Engineering Graduate School
- Master's Degree in Automotive Engineering
Distance Learning Options
Although engineering programs typically include some amount of mandatory hands-on, on-site experience, students can still find programs that offer online components or even blended formats. Other than automotive engineering, students may find relevant coursework in related online engineering programs.
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