Automotive engineers develop new or improved designs for vehicle structures, engines, transmissions, or other vehicle systems.
What does an Automotive Engineer do?
Automotive engineers develop new or improved designs for vehicle structures, engines, transmissions, or other vehicle systems, using computer-assisted design technology. They also direct the building, modification, or testing of vehicles or components.
As an automotive engineer you might:
- turn design ideas into blueprints for development and testing
- build or test prototypes using computer simulations and physical models
- plan production runs, including redesigning machine tools, equipment and processes to make new parts
- work on, or specialise in, systems including chassis and engine systems, electrical and electronic control systems, fuel technology and emissions systems.
Key skills and interests
To become an automotive engineer, you would need:
- a strong interest in automotive design and engineering
- excellent IT skills and up-to-date technical knowledge
- the ability to analyse and interpret data
- the ability to solve problems creatively
- good communication and presentation skills.
Working hours and conditions
Automotive engineers normally work standard hours in a fulltime role, but this may include some shift work.
You could be based in an office, at a research facility or at a manufacturing plant.
How to become an Automotive Engineer?
Entry Level Education
To become an automotive engineer you usually have to complete a mechanical engineering degree at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Mechanical engineering graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.
In recent years, the majority of international motor vehicle manufacturers in Australia have announced the closure of their manufacturing facilities. This has led to a decline in opportunities for automotive engineers in manufacturing facilities.
Opportunities are still available in areas such as automotive component manufacturing, specialised vehicle manufacturing and sophisticated vehicle customisation, refurbishment, and fitout.