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Automotive Engineers
SOC Code: 17-2141.02

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Chief Engineer; Development System Efficiency Manager; Dimensional Integration Engineer; Director of Engineering, Quality & Program Management.; Director, Product Safety; Product Engineer; Senior Engineering Team Leader; Senior Project Engineer; Technical Services Manager; Technical Specialist

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Perform failure, variation, or root cause analyses.
  • Establish production or quality control standards.
  • Write, review, or maintain engineering documentation.
  • Prepare or present technical or project status reports.
  • Design vehicles that use lighter materials, such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, or plastic, to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Alter or modify designs to obtain specified functional or operational performance.
  • Coordinate production activities with other functional units, such as procurement, maintenance, or quality control.
  • Design or analyze automobile systems in areas such as aerodynamics, alternate fuels, ergonomics, hybrid power, brakes, transmissions, steering, calibration, safety, or diagnostics.
  • Conduct research studies to develop new concepts in the field of automotive engineering.
  • Research or implement green automotive technologies involving alternative fuels, electric or hybrid cars, or lighter or more fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Create design alternatives for vehicle components, such as camless or dual-clutch engines or alternative air-conditioning systems, to increase fuel efficiency.
  • Develop calibration methodologies, test methodologies, or tools.
  • Read current literature, attend meetings or conferences, or talk with colleagues to stay abreast of new automotive technology or competitive products.
  • Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.
  • Design control systems or algorithms for purposes such as automotive energy management, emissions management, or increased operational safety or performance.
  • Develop or implement operating methods or procedures.
  • Develop or integrate control feature requirements.
  • Develop specifications for vehicles powered by alternative fuels or alternative power methods.
  • Build models for algorithm or control feature verification testing.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE; Maplesoft Maple; Minitab ; SoMat eDAQ (see all 18 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Dassault Systemes CATIA ; MAHLE Powertrain; Think3 ThinkDesign Engineering (see all 12 examples)
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - CNC Mastercam
  • Data base user interface and query software - Structured query language SQL
  • Development environment software - C ; Digital Equipment Corporation DIGITAL Fortran 90; Very high speed integrated circuit VHSIC hardware description language VHDL
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Ambient Design ArtRage; Corel Painter Sketch Pad; Portalgraphics openCanvas (see all 7 examples)
  • Industrial control software - Metrologic Group Metrolog XG
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Microsoft Visual C#; Practical extraction and reporting language PERL ; Python (see all 5 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Linux ; UNIX
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Web platform development software - JavaScript
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air compressors
  • Anechoic chambers - Climate test chambers
  • Bandsaw wheel - Vertical bandsaws
  • Chemical absorption gas analyzers - Gas analyzers; Hydrogen analyzers
  • Digital cameras
  • Dissolved carbon dioxide analyzers - Carbon dioxide analyzers
  • Drill press or radial drill - Bench drill presses; Floor drill presses
  • Dynamometers - Engine test dynamometers; Transmission dynamometers
  • Electro pneumatic transducers - Pressure transducers
  • Flow transmitters - Wind tunnels
  • Flowmeters - Laminar flow elements
  • Force or torque sensors - Torque gauges
  • Hoists - Hydraulic hoists
  • Horizontal turning center - Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
  • Hydraulic press frames - Hydraulic presses
  • Lifts - Rotary vehicle lifts
  • Metal inert gas welding machine - Metal inert gas MIG welders
  • Milling machines - Five-axis machining centers; Three-axis vertical mills
  • Ohmmeters - Miliohm meters
  • Oxygen gas analyzers - Oxygen analyzers
  • Plasma arc welding machine - Plasma cutters
  • Power grinders - Bench grinders; Disc finishing machines
  • Power saws - Horizontal band saws
  • Pressure indicators - Pressure gauges
  • Sand blasting machine - Sand blasters
  • Spectrometers - Spectroscopes
  • Spot welding machine - Welders
  • Strain gauges
  • Thermocouples
  • Three dimensional printing machine - Three-dimensional prototyping printer
  • Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe - Multitasking lathes
  • Track cranes - Overhead cranes
  • Winches - Hydraulic winches
  • Workshop cranes

Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills

  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Technology Design - Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Interests

  • Interest code: RI
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 91% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others - 48% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 57% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 35% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 70% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 74% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition - 35% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • Time Pressure - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 57% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 57% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 30% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Consequence of Error - 35% responded “Serious.”
  • Physical Proximity - 74% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
96%Bachelor's degree
4%Master's degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $41.29 hourly, $85,880 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 289,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 21,200

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