The Average Salary of Automotive Engineers

The Average Salary of Automotive Engineers
  • Opening Intro -

    The U.S. car industry is on the rebound, showing signs of sustained growth for the first time in more than three years.

    Customers are returning to showrooms, seeking good deals on new cars.

    Some of this rebound can be attributed to pent up demand -- old cars are wearing out and in need of replacing.


Where the jobs are!

For college students majoring in engineering, the job prospects have brightened considerably in recent months. That’s because car manufacturers are looking for students who are well versed in all things technical, not just automotive. Indeed, if you have a computer background, you could be the ideal candidate for a job with GM, Ford, Chrysler or with a foreign manufacturer. Pay is excellent too, something engineering students will want to consider as they explore their options after college.

Average Salaries

The average salary for an automotive engineer was $78,160 in 2010 according to O*Net Online, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. This figure equals $37.58 per hour.

As of 2008, some 239,000 people were employed as automotive engineers. The BLS predicts slow, but sustained growth through 2018, reflecting a 3 to 6 percent increase in jobs.

view current positions automotive engineers

Job Duties

Automotive engineers may be expected to handle a number of tasks during the course of their work day including conducting or directing system-level automotive testing. Engineers may design control systems or algorithms for purposes such as automotive energy management, emissions management, or increased operational safety or performance; analyze automotive systems; alter or modify designs; build clay models; calibrate vehicle systems; develop engineering specifications and calibration methodologies; and conduct automotive design reviews.


Not many colleges and universities offer automotive bachelor degree programs in the United States. According to Indiana State University that number is currently at 16. Coursework is similar and involves automotive electronics, engine theory and service, steering and suspension systems, physics and chemistry, and transmission and drivelines among others. Even if your engineering degree is not in automotive science, don’t let that stop you from applying. Modern cars, such as the Ford Focus Electric utilize many parts that aren’t just used in cars including lithium-ion batteries, electric charging ports and voice activated navigation.


Automotive engineering can also serve as a springboard for other job opportunities. You can use what you learn working with a car manufacturer to work for many other companies including industry suppliers. Your career route may not always seem clear-cut, but it can yield much satisfaction if you are innovative and flexible.

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Last update on 2020-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Career Planning