Complete Guide To The Automotive Engineering Career Field

Updated November 12, 2014

Automotive engineers are among the most respected professionals in the engineering field, and not just because their work is inevitably used by nearly the the entire world on a daily basis.


Professionals responsible for designing, developing, and actually manufacturing all kinds of automobiles – just about anything with a motor and a set of wheels, for that matter – these experts literally shape the face of our planet because of the importance of motorized transportation today.

If you are interested in becoming an automotive engineer, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the information included in this quick guide.

What an automotive engineering job is all about

There are a number of different responsibilities that automotive engineers will have, depending entirely upon the specialty they prefer after graduating with an engineering degree.

Many automotive engineers will immediately dive headfirst into the research and development side of the automotive world, where others will instead look to focus on designing and developing new technologies and innovations that will find their way to help other companies push the future of the automobile just a bit further forward.

Of course, automobile manufacturers are always looking to bring new automotive engineers (with a hefty salary, no less) right out of school to integrate into their company and their engineering workflow.

You may start off as a quality control and “line engineer” as far as your entry-level position is concerned, but you’ll quickly move through the ranks as an automotive engineering expert, obviously increasing your salary but we will talk numbers soon.

Remember, these major corporations and automobile manufacturers are ALWAYS looking for talented engineers to help them carve out a larger chunk of the marketplace and beat out the competition.

As an automotive engineering professional, you are going to be in the driver’s seat.

Educational requirements to become an automotive engineer

While you could choose to attend just about any school out there that offers an automotive engineering program, you’re going to want to make sure that you are selecting a college or university that is recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

A degree from any institution that is recognized by this governing board will carry more weight after graduation, not only giving you an advatnage for getting your foot in the door but also helping you land a significantly higher entry-level salary as well.

Automotive engineering salary figures

As far as actual numbers for your automotive engineering salary is concerned, most entry-level graduates should be able to expect anywhere between $60,000 and $80,000 or so as their annual salary right out of the gate.

In 2011, the average salary for an automotive engineer was just about $118,000, a 10% bump from the year before.

And that was three years ago!

The bottom line is you should be able to expect a considerable automotive engineering salary right out of the gate with absolutely zero headache or hassle whatsoever, making this one of the smartest career decisions you could make.

And it doesn’t hurt to be passionate about the automotive industry, either!



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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