How to Become an Automotive Engineer

Automotive engineers are involved in all aspects of vehicle design and development.

Automotive engineers are involved in all aspects of vehicle design and development.

Twenty-first century automobiles are technological marvels. They are the refined product of more than 100 years of engineering development, and provide safe, efficient and reliable transportation to billions of people around the globe. More than five generations of automotive engineers have dedicated their lives to the continual improvement of the automobile. Modern automotive engineers are highly educated professionals, many with master's degrees, who are working hard to make the latest generation of automobiles even more attractive, safe and efficient.

Earn a bachelor's degree in electrical or mechanical engineering. The solid math and science background provided by an engineering degree is required for admission to master's in automotive engineering programs.

Enroll in and complete an automotive engineering master's degree program. Automotive engineering master's programs include classes in advanced computer-assisted design, aerodynamics, vehicle ride and handling, battery technology, engine design, crashworthiness, safety technology and more.

Seek out automotive engineering-related internships after your first semester in grad school. Even if it is just for a few months, the practical experience you get during an internship is invaluable, and entry-level candidates who have had internships are looked at favorably by hiring managers.

Apply for automotive engineer positions with automobile manufacturers and mobility design engineering firms. Michigan is still a major hub for automotive design and engineering, but automotive-engineering related positions can be found in almost every major city.


  • Earn a specific subject area certification from SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers, to enhance your professional credentials. Certifications are offered in areas including fundamentals of drivetrain systems, diesel technology, vehicle dynamics and vehicle electrification.

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About the Author

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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