Automotive Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.

  • Conduct or direct system-level automotive testing.
  • Conduct automotive design reviews.
  • Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.
  • Provide technical direction to other engineers or engineering support personnel.
Read more about what does an Automotive Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$92800 per year

Average hourly wage
$45 per hour

Automotive Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $56270 and $69410 while the more experienced ones can earn over $110520 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
AK $62 $128,690
DC $54 $112,780
NM $53 $110,210
MD $53 $109,960
CA $52 $107,370

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Automotive Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Automotive Engineers are AK, DC, NM, MD and CA.

However, a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Automotive Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Automotive Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Mechanical Engineering
Electromechanical Engineering
Read more about how to become an Automotive Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Automotive Engineer.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

70% of Automotive Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Dragos Viteo
An automotive company

I work as an engineer for an automotive company. I’ve been working in the automotive industry for 14 years now, and have been an engineer for 12. I work with other engineers to create the best vehicle, or at least closer to it than the current model! As an automotive engineer, my job was to … Read More

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Automotive Engineers

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Automotive Engineers job description, Automotive Engineers salary, Automotive Engineers information, what is the job of an Automotive Engineer like, pros and cons about Automotive Engineers, colleges and universities for Automotive Engineers, is Automotive Engineers the right career for me, careers in Architecture and Engineering

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