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Automotive Engineering Requirements In 2021: From High School To A Graduate

Students that fix little engine parts to make toy cars show a high tendency of becoming automotive engineers. Some of these students end up in other careers because they have no idea of the requirements for this career from high school.

In order to help these students achieve their dream career, hence, this article. Learn about the entry requirements for automotive engineering education from high school to a graduate degree.

Meanwhile, knowledge of the automotive engineering degree requirements from high school will help these students to choose courses that will guide them till graduation. With this, it can very easy for the students to know some of the best schools for engineering where they can acquire top-notch automotive engineering education.

Automotive Engineering or automobile engineering is the field of engineering that combines mechanical, electrical, and materials science. This branch of engineering focuses on vehicle design, development, production, and safety testing.

Additionally, this field of engineering always requires a team of professional that specialize in certain aspects of automobile engineering. The specializations in automotive engineering include control systems, aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, and emission control.

To enter the field of Automobile Engineering, one of the requirements is that you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related engineering field. However, some large automotive companies offer apprenticeships to people that wish to enter the field.

Why study Automotive Engineering?

There are so many reasons to consider a career in automotive engineering. While considering to go into automotive engineering education, ensure that you meet all the requirements for the program. Hence, we will take a look at the reasons why you should consider having a career in this field of study.

Firstly, taking up a career in automotive engineering is paying very well. If you look around you, you’ll find out that there several cars. You can actually influence lives by creating special cars now that the world is undergoing a revolution in technology. Think of the sense of pride that you will have upon seeing a car you created running along the road. That feels awesome right?

Secondly, a career in automotive engineering will expose to a large number of skills from other emerging technologies. These skills include virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. As a matter of fact, these skills are now making their way into the automotive industry. With this, non-engineering students from computer science, gaming, and development backgrounds will also have a future in the field.

Finally, the automotive industry offers a lot of job opportunities. In automotive engineering, you will get jobs in mechanical software, electrical engineering, dynamics, and aerodynamics.

Who is an Automotive Engineer?

This is a professional engineer that develops passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles or off-road vehicles for use. Automotive engineers always work closely with other engineers to improve automotive technical performance, vehicle aesthetics, and automotive software.

In addition, automotive engineers do one or more of the following:

  • Develop new products or modify existing ones
  • Troubleshoot and solve engineering problems
  • Plan and design manufacturing processes

The following are the responsibilities of automotive engineers:

  • Carrying out research, creating, and producing vehicles and components
  • Preparing cost estimates and design specifications
  • Preparing plans and drawings
  • Examining energy, environmental, and safety aspects of the planned project
  • Making forecasts of vehicle or component behavior under different conditions using computerized models
  • Developing testing procedures
  • Studying product failures
  • Examining, interpreting, and summarizing technical data into reports
  • Overseeing technical staff
  • Working closely with other types of engineers including electrical, aerospace, chemical, and industrial
  • Working with professionals from other occupational fields including marketing and legal

How long will it take me to go to an Automotive Engineering School?

The duration of your schooling will depend what career you wish to pursue in automotive engineering.

Some automotive engineers complete vocational programs in high school and proceed to work as trainees in automotive repair shops. Some also finish a postsecondary automotive technology program in just one year or more to become automotive technicians.

Generally, it will take you four (4) years to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering. In your last academic year, you’ll then have to complete a design project. During this project, you’ll be alone or paired with another student under the supervision of faculty staff.

Upon graduation, you will now be addressed as an engineer. You will have to work under the guidance of a professional engineer for some years depending on the state. Afterward, you will take and pass an Engineer-in-Training exam and Professional Engineers exam to become a licensed engineer.

If you wish to advance further in acquiring a master’s degree in automotive engineering, it will take you at least two years.

How much will it cost me to study Automotive Engineering?

If you wish to become an automotive technician, you can begin from high school through a vocational program. You can as well start from a college where you earn a certificate or complete an associate degree program in the field. Alternatively, you can as well study automotive engineering online.

The cost of acquiring automotive engineering education depends on the path you wish to follow. Below are the various costs for acquiring an education in automotive engineering:

  • Online automotive technician training programs — $750 to $1,000. Expect to complete this program between six months to two years.
  • Certificate programs — $5,000 to $20,000 for programs between six months to two years. Depending on your location, you can find 18-week certificate programs that will cost between $5,000-$5,500
  • Associate degree — $10,000-$25,000
  • Voluntary certifications — Courses for voluntary certifications generally cost $30-$60 per test plus a $36 registration fee. Some voluntary certifications include those for automobiles/light trucks, collision and refinishing, service consulting, and parts.

What are the requirements for Automotive Engineering education from High School to a Graduate degree?

In this section, we will look at the entry requirements that students need to acquire automotive engineering education from a high school up to the graduate level. This is very important as it will guide a student that wishes to pursue a career in this field.

Automotive Engineering requirements at High School level

At the high school level, students that dream of acquiring an automotive engineering education should have a comprehensive foundation in:

  • Physics
  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • English

Knowledge of these courses will give students a deep understanding of the major concepts in any engineering field. In addition, automotive engineering needs people that are very good at communication. This means that students at the high school level must possess effective oral and written communication skills. They will have to take language classes including writing and speech very seriously.

Another option is to undertake available college classes that will prepare them for university engineering coursework and get a head start on building college credits.

Automotive Engineering requirements at the university level

While choosing a university for your education, ensure that you choose one that is accredited by ABET.

Additionally, many universities either require or offer some classes that allow potential engineering students to explore the different specializations within the field. Some schools even require students to pass proficiency tests in math and physics before entering their programs.

The entry requirements for a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering include A-level passes in Physics, Math, and Chemistry.

On the other hand, many institutions do not offer a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering. As a result, many aspiring automotive engineering students to start their education first in the mechanical engineering field. This reason is that automotive engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering and many of the classes are the same.

However, some universities offer mechanical engineering programs that include automotive engineering courses including:

  • Automobile dynamics
  • Automotive electronics
  • Engine parts
  • Diesel engine theory
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Fuel cell systems
  • Powertrain dynamics

Acquiring a master’s degree in automotive engineering is not compulsory before you can go into the field. This is because such a degree will give you advanced and specialized knowledge and skills in thefield.

Hence, the follwoing are the entry requirements for a master’s degree program in automotive engineering:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related field
  • Official transcripts
  • Some institutions require a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores

While admission requirements vary among institutions, a bachelor’s degree, prior experience, official transcripts, references, and test scores are similar.

During the master’s degree program, your studies will focus on:

  • Design and manufacturing
  • Energy and environment
  • Materials
  • Noise and vibration
  • Powertrain
  • Dynamics and control
  • Electronics and computer software
  • Ergonomics

What is the salary and job outlook of Automotive Engineers?

According to PayScale, entry-level automotive engineers having a year experience should expect to earn an average of (includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay) $67,527 per year. This is based on 37 salaries.

Automotive Engineers that have between 1-4 years of experience, can expect to earn an average of $74,299 annually. Additionally, mid-career automotive engineers that have between 5-9 years of experience, should expect to earn an average of $81,210 per year.

Experienced automotive engineers that have between 10-19 years of experience earn an average of $91,104 while those with over 20 years experience earn an average of $97,452 yearly.

On the other hand, the BLS reports that the employment of automotive engineers is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. The vehicles that people use is expected to continue increasing in number. More entry-level automotive engineers will be needed to replace brake pads and change engine oil on vehicles.

However, new technologies like electric vehicles may reduce future demand for automotive engineers. This is because these vehicles will be more reliable hence, require less frequent maintenance and repair.

Can I study Automotive Engineering online?

Although engineering programs normally involve some compulsory hands-on and on-site experience, students can still find online programs. They can also find blended formats.

However, online programs assume that students have received adequate hands-on experience while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Hence, online master’s degree programs in automotive engineering are designed for the working automotive engineer.

The online automotive engineering programs and their platforms include:

Automotive Engineering ProgramOnline School
Industrial Automation EngineeringEngineering Institute of Technology Perth, Australia
Auto Body Repair TechnicianCentennial College Pickering, Canada
Automotive Parts and Service Operations,,
Motorcycle Powersports and Product Repair Techniques,,
Motion Planning for Self-Driving CarsCousera
Electric CarsedX TU Delft
Instrumentation, Automation, and Process ControlIDC Technologies

What associations of Automotive Engineers can I belong to?

Just like most careers that have associations both nationally and globally, automotive engineering has its own associations where professionals in the field can belong to.

The two associations for automotive engineering include the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). These associations offer helpful information to automotive engineering students on scholarships and financial aid, design & racing competitions, and networking opportunities.

Conclusion

Automotive engineering which is a branch of mechanical engineering involves the design and development of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles.

If you wish to pursue a career in automotive engineering, the requirements for education are quite clear. You can start your high school education by having a solid foundation in math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus), physics, and chemistry. 

These requirements will carry you through to the university where you can obtain a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores will qualify you for a master’s degree in automotive engineering.

FAQs on the Entry Requirements for Automotive Engineering Education

Is automotive engineering worth it?

Yes. To become an automotive engineer is worth it because the job is very rewarding and pays high.

Is automotive engineering in demand?

Yes. The job of automotive engineers or mechanical engineers is projected to grow by 9% from 2018 to 2028. This is because the number of cars in use will continue to increase and they will require maintenance and repairs.

How can I become a successful automobile engineer?

You can become an automobile engineer by:
1. Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in the university
2. Participating in an internship
3. Seeking employment opportunities
4. Participating in continuing education opportunities
5. Obtaining a license
6. Considering getting a master’s degree in the field

Where are top locations for automotive engineers?

The top locations for automative engineers include:
1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Dallas, TX
3. Houston, TX
4. Southern California
5. New Jersey
6. New England

I am a commercial student, can I study Automotive Engineering?

No. Automotive engineering is a pure science course and only students offering science subjects can study it.

References

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