Automotive engineering involves the research, design, development and manufacturing of vehicles. As an automotive engineer you would specialise and work on one part such as the exhaust system.
What you would do as an automotive engineer will depend on the specialist area that you have. It could include using Computer-aided design (CAD), deciding on materials, problem solving, building prototypes or inspecting and checking vehicles or parts.
What should I study to work in automotive engineering?
Usually employers will require you to have a degree in a subject such as automotive engineering, electronic or electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or manufacturing engineering and there are also some degree level automotive engineering apprenticeships available although entry to these can be very competitive.
Whether you are taking the full time university degree route or a degree level apprenticeship route you will need to have studied:
- GCSE maths, English and a science, technology or engineering subject (grades 9 – 4)
- A-levels including maths and a science or a Level 3 BTEC (90 credits +) in Engineering
Click here if you want to find out about the product design and development engineering apprenticeship.
Can I get any work experience in automotive engineering?
Many full-time degree courses offer a four-year option which includes a year in industry and it’s worth looking for these. Obviously if you choose the apprenticeship route then you’ll gain plenty of work-experience.
You could also try looking for some volunteering opportunities.
Automotive engineering pay and prospects
Starting salaries are around £20,000 – £28,000 and with experience you could earn about £30 – 40,000.
Engineering apprenticeships are fairly well represented all over England but most are found in the West Midlands, where lots of automotive companies are based.