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Summary Report for:
17-3027.01 - Automotive Engineering Technicians

Assist engineers in determining the practicality of proposed product design changes and plan and carry out tests on experimental test devices or equipment for performance, durability, or efficiency.

Sample of reported job titles: Emissions Engineer, Engineering Team Supervisor, Laboratory Technician (Lab Technician), Research Technician, Test Engineer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Document test results, using cameras, spreadsheets, documents, or other tools.
  • Set up mechanical, hydraulic, or electric test equipment in accordance with engineering specifications, standards, or test procedures.
  • Read and interpret blueprints, schematics, work specifications, drawings, or charts.
  • Inspect or test parts to determine nature or cause of defects or malfunctions.
  • Monitor computer-controlled test equipment, according to written or verbal instructions.
  • Analyze test data for automotive systems, subsystems, or component parts.
  • Install equipment, such as instrumentation, test equipment, engines, or aftermarket products, to ensure proper interfaces.
  • Perform or execute manual or automated tests of automotive system or component performance, efficiency, or durability. Green Task Statement
  • Maintain test equipment in operational condition by performing routine maintenance or making minor repairs or adjustments as needed.
  • Analyze performance of vehicles or components that have been redesigned to increase fuel efficiency, such as camless or dual-clutch engines or alternative types of air-conditioning systems. Green Task Statement
  • Improve fuel efficiency by testing vehicles or components that use lighter materials, such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, or plastic. Green Task Statement
  • Fabricate new or modify existing prototype components or fixtures.
  • Order new test equipment, supplies, or replacement parts.
  • Recommend product or component design improvements, based on test data or observations.
  • Recommend tests or testing conditions in accordance with designs, customer requirements, or industry standards to ensure test validity.
  • Test performance of vehicles that use alternative fuels, such as alcohol blends, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biodiesel, nano diesel, or alternative power methods, such as solar energy or hydrogen fuel cells. Green Task Statement
  • Participate in research or testing of computerized automotive applications, such as telemetrics, intelligent transportation systems, artificial intelligence, or automatic control. Green Task Statement
  • Build instrumentation or laboratory test equipment for special purposes.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Calipers
  • Chemical absorption gas analyzers — Exhaust gas analyzers
  • Compression testers
  • Digital testers — Electronic engine analyzers
  • Dynamometers — Chassis dynamometers
  • Flowmeters — Flow benches
  • Force or torque sensors — Force gauges
  • Frequency counters or timer or dividers — Frequency counters
  • Horizontal turning center — Engine lathes
  • Leak testing equipment — Leakage testers
  • Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welders
  • Multimeters
  • Oscilloscopes — Ignition oscilloscopes
  • Pin gauge — Pin gauges
  • Plasma arc welding machine — Plasma cutters
  • Refrigerated and heated walk in environmental or growth chambers — Environmental chambers
  • Signal generators — Function generators
  • Speed sensors — Timing lights
  • Tension testers — Crack detection equipment; High-vacuum tensile testing chambers
  • Traveling column milling machine — Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
  • Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
  • Turning machines — Computerized numerical control CNC turning centers
  • Vibration testers

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — Data acquisition software; Road simulators
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Mechanical; Autodesk Inventor; PTC Creo Parametric Hot technology
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software Hot technology
  • Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Document design or operational test results.
  • Operate industrial equipment.
  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
  • Analyze test or validation data.
  • Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
  • Install instrumentation or electronic equipment or systems.
  • Maintain test equipment.
  • Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
  • Create physical models or prototypes.
  • Test products for functionality or quality.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Test green technologies or processes.
  • Design electronic or computer equipment or instrumentation.
  • Research advanced engineering designs or applications.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 52% responded “Very important.”
  • Contact With Others — 41% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Time Pressure — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 37% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 26% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 41% responded “About half the time.”
  • Level of Competition — 44% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Important.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
37   Associate's degree
30   Bachelor's degree
15   Post-secondary certificate Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Mechanical Engineering Technicians.
Employment data collected from Mechanical Engineering Technicians.
Industry data collected from Mechanical Engineering Technicians.

Median wages (2015) $25.92 hourly, $53,910 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 48,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Slower than average (2% to 4%) Slower than average (2% to 4%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 12,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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