Automotive Engineers
SOC: 17-2141.02


Develop new or improved designs for vehicle structural members, engines, transmissions, or other vehicle systems, using computer-assisted design technology. Direct building, modification, or testing of vehicle or components.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
277,500 employed

Projected (2024):
292,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Automotive Designer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Automotive Power Electronics Engineer
  • Automotive Project Engineer
  • Chief Engineer
  • Development System Efficiency Manager
  • Dimensional Integration Engineer
  • Director of Engineering, Quality & Program Management.
  • Director, Product Safety
  • Engineering Manager
  • Fuel-Efficient Automobile Designer
  • Hybrid Powertrain Development Engineer
  • Low-Emission Automobile Designer
  • Powertrain Control Systems Engineer
  • Powertrain Engineer
  • Product Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Senior Engineering Team Leader
  • Senior Project Engineer
  • Technical Services Manager
  • Technical Specialist
  • Vehicle Controls Engineer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Read current literature, attend meetings or conferences, or talk with colleagues to stay abreast of new automotive technology or competitive products.
  • Establish production or quality control standards.
  • Prepare or present technical or project status reports.
  • Develop or implement operating methods or procedures.
  • Write, review, or maintain engineering documentation.
  • Conduct research studies to develop new concepts in the field of automotive engineering.
  • Coordinate production activities with other functional units, such as procurement, maintenance, or quality control.
  • Provide technical direction to other engineers or engineering support personnel.
  • Perform failure, variation, or root cause analyses.
  • Develop or integrate control feature requirements.
  • Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
  • Develop calibration methodologies, test methodologies, or tools.
  • Conduct automotive design reviews.
  • Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.
  • Build models for algorithm or control feature verification testing.
  • Alter or modify designs to obtain specified functional or operational performance.
  • Design or analyze automobile systems in areas such as aerodynamics, alternate fuels, ergonomics, hybrid power, brakes, transmissions, steering, calibration, safety, or diagnostics.
  • Conduct or direct system-level automotive testing.
  • Design control systems or algorithms for purposes such as automotive energy management, emissions management, or increased operational safety or performance.
  • Create design alternatives for vehicle components, such as camless or dual-clutch engines or alternative air-conditioning systems, to increase fuel efficiency.
  • Design vehicles for increased recyclability or use of natural, renewable, or recycled materials in vehicle construction.
  • Design vehicles that use lighter materials, such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, or plastic, to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Develop specifications for vehicles powered by alternative fuels or alternative power methods.
  • Research computerized automotive applications, such as telemetrics, intelligent transportation systems, artificial intelligence, or automatic control.
  • Research or implement green automotive technologies involving alternative fuels, electric or hybrid cars, or lighter or more fuel-efficient vehicles.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air compressors
  • Anechoic chambers
  • Bench drill presses
  • Bench grinders
  • Carbon dioxide analyzers
  • Climate test chambers
  • Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
  • Digital cameras
  • Disc finishing machines
  • Engine test dynamometers
  • Five-axis machining centers
  • Floor drill presses
  • Gas analyzers
  • Horizontal band saws
  • Hydraulic hoists
  • Hydraulic presses
  • Hydraulic winches
  • Hydrogen analyzers
  • Laminar flow elements
  • Metal inert gas MIG welders
  • Miliohm meters
  • Multitasking lathes
  • Overhead cranes
  • Oxygen analyzers
  • Plasma cutters
  • Pressure gauges
  • Pressure indicators
  • Pressure transducers
  • Rotary vehicle lifts
  • Sand blasters
  • Spectrometers
  • Spectroscopes
  • Strain gauges
  • Thermocouples
  • Three-axis vertical mills
  • Three-dimensional prototyping printer
  • Torque gauges
  • Transmission dynamometers
  • Vertical bandsaws
  • Welders
  • Wind tunnels
  • Workshop cranes
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Altair Engineering MotionSolve
  • Ambient Design ArtRage
  • Ansoft software
  • Ashlar-Vellum Graphite
  • Autodesk Alias Automotive
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Mechanical
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Autodesk SketchBook Pro
  • C
  • C++
  • CADRE Analytic
  • CNC Mastercam
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Corel Painter
  • Corel Painter Sketch Pad
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA software
  • Dassault Systemes Simulia Abaqus FEA
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks software
  • Data acquisition systems
  • Digital Equipment Corporation DIGITAL Fortran 90
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Flowmaster software
  • Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE
  • GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP
  • Hardware-in-the-loop HIL simulation software
  • IBM Notes
  • IronCAD
  • JavaScript
  • Linux
  • LMS Imagine.Lab AMESim
  • MAHLE Powertrain
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • Maplesoft MapleSim
  • Metrologic Group Metrolog XG
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visual C#
  • Microsoft Word
  • Minitab software
  • Oracle Java
  • Portalgraphics openCanvas
  • Practical extraction and reporting language PERL
  • Python
  • Ride simulators
  • Siemens PLM Software NX
  • Siemens PLM Software Solid Edge
  • SoMat eDAQ
  • Statistical analysis software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks Simulink
  • Think3 ThinkDesign Engineering
  • UNIX
  • Vector CANtech software
  • Very high speed integrated circuit VHSIC hardware description language VHDL

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980