Automotive Engineer – Job Description

Automotive engineers work in three distinct areas – production, design or development.

Production engineers typically work on redesigning the machine tools, processes and equipment used to make new parts. Overseeing quality control and production costs and schedules are also a major part of the job.

Design engineers will show off their CAD (computer-aided design) and draughtsman skills to transform ideas into blueprints prior to development. As well as working on the look and feel of a product, design engineers look into safety and reliability issues, cost-effectiveness and any likely environmental impact.

Development engineers build and then test prototypes. Computer simulations and ‘real’ tests are used to determine a prototype’s strengths and weaknesses, safety and performance. Places like wind tunnels are a development engineer’s second home.

Employers usually look for candidates with a degree or BTEC HNC/HND in mechanical, electronic, production or manufacturing engineering. Graduate training schemes are the most common way into full-time employment.

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Other recommended resources:

Institute of the Motor Industry
An organisation offering career development through membership and an Automotive Technician/Management Accreditation scheme. Members also get access to a number of networking and information events and publications.

Institute of Mechanical Engineers
An organisation supporting and promoting advancements in mechanical engineering through a global network of engineers. They offer professional development through accreditation and qualification, with a sub-division dedicated to Automobile Engineering.

Institute of Engineering and Technology
Offering chartered status within CPD, membership gets you access to training and networking opportunities in addition to research and a framework of personal career support.

Engineering Council
The UK regulatory body for engineering, the EC lists the national register of chartered individuals and sets the standards for work and qualifications. Their website holds a lot of information about improving your status within the industry as well as the latest policy updates and research, helping you stay abreast of a continually evolving environment.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Supporting the interests of the automotive industry, this professional organisation offers research and access to industry events, advice services and links to training.

The Skills Sector Council for the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors, these guys put you in touch with courses, qualifications and apprenticeship schemes.

Tomorrow’s Engineers
Still in school and interested in how you can get involved? Run by EngineeringUK, Tomorrow’s Engineers offer information, inspiration and the path from your school classroom to a job in the field.

Your Future in Automotive
Offering a wealth of information about careers in automotive engineering, this website lists your options in regard to getting into the industry and getting up when you’re in it. There’s a university guide, student bursary scheme and details about internship schemes.

WISE: Women in Science and Engineering
Aiming to promote science and engineering to women and address the current gender balance, WISE has a wealth of information and support for any women who want to get into the industry with apprenticeships, training and networking opportunities available.

Automotive Engineer
A digital magazine offering all the news and information about the automotive engineering sector, with the latest innovations and developments.

Motor Industry Magazine
An online magazine resource bringing you the latest information in the motor industry.

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson is CEO of Simon is a recruitment professional that pioneers the usage of video in recruitment and fully committed to helping young people find employment.