Details Report for:
17-2141.02 - Automotive Engineers
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.
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
- 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.
- Design or analyze automobile systems in areas such as aerodynamics, alternate fuels, ergonomics, hybrid power, brakes, transmissions, steering, calibration, safety, or diagnostics.
- Alter or modify designs to obtain specified functional or operational performance.
- Build models for algorithm or control feature verification testing.
- Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.
- Conduct automotive design reviews.
- Develop calibration methodologies, test methodologies, or tools.
- Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
- Develop or integrate control feature requirements.
- Perform failure, variation, or root cause analyses.
- Provide technical direction to other engineers or engineering support personnel.
- 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.
- Develop or implement operating methods or procedures.
- Establish production or quality control standards.
- Prepare or present technical or project status reports.
- Read current literature, attend meetings or conferences, or talk with colleagues to stay abreast of new automotive technology or competitive products.
- 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 used in this occupation:
|Anechoic chambers — Climate test chambers|
|Chemical absorption gas analyzers — Gas analyzers; Hydrogen analyzers|
|Dynamometers — Engine test dynamometers; Transmission dynamometers|
|Lathes — Computerized numerical control CNC lathes; Multitasking lathes|
|Metal inert gas MIG welding machinery — Metal inert gas MIG welders|
|Milling machines — Five-axis machining centers; Three-axis vertical mills|
|Oxygen gas analyzers — Oxygen analyzers|
|Power grinders — Bench grinders; Disc finishing machines|
|Pressure indicators — Pressure gauges|
|Spectrometers — Spectroscopes|
|Track cranes — Overhead cranes|
|Workshop presses — Bench drill presses; Floor drill presses|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Analytical or scientific software — Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE; Maplesoft Maple; SoMat eDAQ; The MathWorks Simulink (see all 16 examples)|
|Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Dassault Systemes SolidWorks software; Think3 ThinkDesign Engineering; Vector CANtech software (see all 14 examples)|
|Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — CNC Mastercam|
|Development environment software — C; Digital Equipment Corporation DIGITAL Fortran 90; Very high speed integrated circuit VHSIC hardware description language VHDL|
|Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Ambient Design ArtRage; Corel Painter Sketch Pad; Portalgraphics openCanvas (see all 7 examples)|
|Industrial control software — Metrologic Group Metrolog XG|
|Object or component oriented development software — C++; Microsoft Visual C#|
|100||Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.|
|83||Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.|
|45||Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.|
|39||Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.|
|22||Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.|
|6||Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.|
|89||Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.|
|81||Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.|
|78||Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.|
|72||Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.|
|39||Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.|
|28||Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.|
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Mechanical Engineers.
Employment data collected from Mechanical Engineers.
Industry data collected from Mechanical Engineers.
|Median wages (2012)||$38.74 hourly, $80,580 annual|
|Employment (2010)||243,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2010-2020)||Slower than average (3% to 9%)|
|Projected job openings (2010-2020)||99,600|
|Top industries (2010)||
Manufacturing (49% employed in this sector)
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2010-2020 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2010-2020). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
for Automotive Engineers
State & National Job Banks
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Mechanical Engineers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.
- SAE International , 400 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale, PA 15096-0001. Phone: (724) 776-4841.