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As an automotive engineer, it dependants on which specific role you work as in the industry as to where you may be based, either in an office, manufacturing plant or research facility. To work in the automotive engineering industry, you must have a strong interest in motor vehicle engineering, manufacturing and design.
Automotive engineers are most commonly employed by motor vehicle dealers (for example Hyundai, Ford, Honda etc.) although some can be employed by regular car garages. A good level of English is expected within this job title, due to the high quality of communication to clients needed. Not only must you have a strong interest in motor vehicles to join the industry, but a top list of skills may include some of these:
- Ability to problem solve and think creatively
- Good maths skills – for calculations, formulas etc.
- Physical fitness and strength
- Good with technology
- Responsible and mature work attitude to safety
- Ability to work in a team or be independent
There are three different areas you may focus on in your career:
Design, Development and Production.
Your duties in automotive jobs involved in design would be weighing up issues or reliability and safety in new models or blueprints and preparing them for testing and later on, the development. Some aspects of design would include looking at the aesthetics of the new design, possible environmental impacts and the cost of the whole manufacture of the new motor vehicle design or feature.
In development, you will be testing and checking faults in any prototypes to 'iron out any kinks' and asses the performance of the model as a whole in different aspects: safety, environmental impact, cost effectiveness, aesthetics etc. under all safety procedures and regulations. Automotive jobs can be potentially dangerous and without proper care and attention for not only yourself but those around you while working, serious injury can occur and so employees must be mature and responsible within the workplace.
In production, you may redesign tools and take some role in building new parts. Depending on the level of management your role may be, you will oversee quality control and ensure lower workers or machines are processing orders and designs correctly. Monitoring costs of the manufacturing will also be a high priority of yours, as it will be your aim to keep the costs to an absolute minimum and justify all money spent to your own manager ensuring it has not been wasted.
On top of this, you may also be dealing and negotiating with clients and supervising technical teams, which is why it is vital to have good communication skills.