Is Automotive Engineering the Right Career For You?
If you love cars and engineering, then you should probably work in automobile engineering. While this is quite a demanding job, there is nothing better than creating a powerful vehicle that millions of people can enjoy.
But before you enroll in a university course, here are some things that all future engineers have to know about.
Automotive engineer – The Jack of all trades
This profession has existed for more than a century but in the recent years, it has become more complex with the introduction of advanced technology and alternative fuels. Today, students who wish to work in the automotive industry have to study mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, safety engineering, as well as environmental engineering but also to be proficient with various software and electronics.
An individual has to have technical skills and experience in order to control the quality of various systems. Automotive engineer is responsible for the development of vehicles including design, manufacturing, and operation.
Auto business changes each year so professional working in this field will have to be open to new ideas and constantly improve production methods as well as the technology behind cars.
Attention to details
When designing a new car, an engineer has to account for all the different materials and systems. It is necessary for all parts to work well together; small mistakes can have a disastrous impact on performance and safety.
Trade-offs are another top priority. For example, an engineer has to find a way to include a powerful engine without affecting fuel economy too much. Or, to introduce quality components without affecting price too much. An engineer has to choose between different options based on client’s needs and the way car is advertised. Still, optimal solutions are required during a project so that a customer can get the most out of it.
Lastly, an engineer has to perform level testing, validation, and certification before a car can be sold. Product engineer needs to test each part of the car. Once that’s done, all systems have to be checked together so that a person in charge can see how they’re interacting.
Salaries and education
In order to start developing cars and handling automotive projects, a 4-year college degree is a must. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find courses that can provide you with an automotive engineering degree. Instead, potential student will likely have to study mechanical engineering and then specialize in automotive engineering.
When it comes to salaries, industrial average is $71, 000. According to Payscale.com data, individuals who are in late stages of their careers can make 45% more while fresh graduates are likely to make 5% less. Certain skills such as project management can give you a nice 15% boost.
In general, once you get your degree, you will have lots of different opportunities ahead of you.
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