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Skills Needed to Be an Automotive Engineer

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Today the market is flooded with state-of-the-art cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles. Each vehicle is the brainchild of an automotive engineer. An automotive engineer is the person behind the conceptualization, design, planning and execution of the processes that ultimately result in yet another vehicle. Mathematical acumen and an aptitude for science are the prerequisites for a career in automotive engineering.

Educational Qualifications

A student must have completed a bachelor’s degree in engineering to be an automotive engineer. The type of engineering degree required is based on the student's specialization. For example, mechanical engineers are required to work on engines and transmissions. Electronics engineers are involved in designing and executing the electronic systems. Industrial engineers are responsible for designing motor vehicle factories and equipment that aid production. Having mathematical acumen and information technology (IT) knowledge are definite advantages. The automotive engineer should not only be technically savvy but he should also be articulate and have good presentation skills.

Mechanical and Manual Dexterity

Having a mechanical background helps in understanding the various components of a car, its functions and operation. A high level of manual dexterity is an asset; an automotive engineer may have to fabricate models and also handle the fitting of small parts, wires and other materials.

Artistic and Creative Talent

An automotive engineer should not only be concerned about functionality but should also have an eye for physical appeal, since aesthetics in a vehicle's interior design and trim is a huge part of its popularity. She is required to take note of specific measurements, ensure correct installation of instruments, and decide on the placement of the seats and even the materials used for upholstery. She should think of and implement new ideas to make the vehicles look smart and trendy.

Technical Expertise and Relationship-building Skills

An automotive engineer should have sound technical knowledge for analyzing problems and interpreting data, since he is responsible for carrying out tests that ensure vehicular safety. He should be able to prioritize his work, be an effective planner, meet deadlines and deal effectively with various constraints. He also should be precise, meticulous, systematic and up to date in skills and knowledge. Besides having technical acumen, he should be able to get along with colleagues to get the best performance from his team.


Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

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