Automotive engineer

Automotive engineers design, develop, test and build cars and motorbikes.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings on shifts

How to become an automotive engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You’ll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree, before joining a company training scheme.

Relevant subjects include:

  • mechanical engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • design engineering
  • manufacturing engineering
  • automotive engineering

A course with a work placement or an internship will be especially useful.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels to do a degree or higher national diploma

More information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a manufacturing engineer degree apprenticeship or product design and development engineer degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

More information

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in the automotive industry through Autocity and Your Future in Automotive.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You might work on:

  • body, chassis and engine systems
  • electrical and electronic instrumentation and control systems
  • thermodynamics, aerodynamics and fluid mechanics
  • fuel technology and emissions

You could work in:

  • design – turning ideas into blueprints for development and testing, taking into account safety, cost-effectiveness, environmental impact and look
  • development – building and testing prototypes using computer simulations and physical models to assess components' strengths, weaknesses, performance and safety
  • production – planning the production run, including redesigning machine tools, equipment and processes to make new parts, monitoring costs and production schedules, and overseeing quality control

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a research facility or at a manufacturing plant.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior engineer roles, project team management, general management or consultancy.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Manufacturing Engineer, Degree Apprenticeship

  • Wage : Competitive salary
  • Location: Ringwood BH24 3FA

Apprentice Assembly Fitter/Customer Service Engineer

  • Wage : £164.00 Weekly
  • Location: Wolverhampton WV10 7DB

Courses In England

HNC Diploma in Automotive Engineering level 4

  • Provider: LEICESTER COLLEGE
  • Start date: 23 September 2019
  • Location: Leicester

Automotive Engineering and Technology - Foundation Degree with Foundation Year

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 08 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Exam results helpline

Received your exam results? Speak to a careers adviser for advice on the options available to you.

Call 0800 100 900 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers.

Follow us on Twitter for more support.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No