Automotive Engineer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Develops new or improved designs for vehicle structural members, engines, transmissions or other vehicle systems, using computer-assisted design technology. Directs building, modification or testing of vehicle or components.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Engineering and Technology pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Conducts or directs system-level automotive testing.
  • Conducts automotive design reviews.
  • Develops engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
  • Provides technical direction to other engineers or engineering support personnel.
  • Performs failure, variation, or root cause analyses.
  • Establishes production or quality control standards.
  • Writes, reviews, or maintains engineering documentation.
  • Prepares or presents technical or project status reports.
  • Designs vehicles that use lighter materials, such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, or plastic, to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Alters or modifies designs to obtain specified functional or operational performance.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Regular working hours and limited travel

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