Automotive Engineering Degree (Cost, types, schools)

Automotive Engineering degree is a sub-degree discipline in Engineering & Technology that focuses on designing new vehicles or finding ways to improve the current machine technology and systems. They need new car designs, systems, and manufacturing processes to achieve their goal.

This article will explain everything you need to know about an automotive engineering degree, the types, and the best schools to get an automotive engineering degree.

Automotive Engineering Degree

What is Automotive Engineering?

Automotive engineering is an aspect of Mechanical Engineering. It includes the design, manufacture, and operation of motorcycles, trucks, automobiles, and their engineering subsystems.

It covers all aspects of the manufacture and design of motor vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles. Many components and subsystems make up a motorized vehicle; automotive engineers test them all.

The automotive engineering field encompasses the production, development, and manufacture of automobiles. It also incorporates elements of mechanical engineering, electrical, safety and electronics engineering.

Who is an Automotive Engineer?

Automotive engineers are responsible for designing the mechanisms and systems of automobiles. They are experts who ensure that automobile designs and systems meet quality standards.

What are the qualities of automotive engineers?

  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Mechanical skills
  • Mathematical skills
  • Problem-solving skills

The design of a car’s systems and mechanisms is the responsibility of automotive engineers. All aspects of automotive engineering require teamwork. However, communication is key to working in a team or with others.

Automotive engineers, like all engineers, use statistics and calculus in mathematics to design, analyze, and troubleshoot. However, to use scientific discoveries and laws to design and fabricate automobiles, automotive engineers must solve mathematically.

What does an Automotive Engineer do?

An automotive engineer is responsible for designing and fabricating passenger cars and trucks, off-road vehicles, buses, motorbikes, and other related tasks.

This type of engineer can also have other responsibilities such as research, design, development, and production of vehicle and their components.

Many potential automotive engineers obtain a bachelor’s degree from a university that offers specialized courses on automotive engineering. However, some universities offer master’s degrees in automotive engineering.

High School Preparation to acquire an automotive engineering degree

Students aspiring to be automotive engineers in high school should have a solid understanding of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.

These subjects are essential for understanding the core concepts in any engineering discipline. At the same time, practical communication skills are essential for aspiring automotive engineers.

High school students should enroll in advanced placement or college courses to help them prepare for university engineering coursework. These courses will give them a big start on building college credits.

Read this: Top 10 Alternative Jobs for Engineers 

How to Choose an Automotive Engineering School

Students in engineering should choose a university or college accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Employers consider more than just an undergraduate engineering school’s academic record when assessing a job candidate for automotive engineers.

However, any college or university that encourages national design competitions and student experience in racing would be a great choice.

Students should explore internships and other opportunities to allow them to apply their coursework in real-world situations. The school won’t be as necessary over time as the undergraduates’ experience and engineering skills.

Which are the Best Automotive Engineering Schools?

When selecting the best automotive engineering school, there are many factors to consider. These are:

  • Accreditation
  • Number of programs
  • Acceptance Rate


This indicates whether the appropriate agency has approved the program. It also tells students if they can pursue the program at their school.

The number of programs:

The student should see the various degree programs offered by the school.

The Acceptance Rate:

The school’s acceptance rate reveals how competitive it is to get admission.

Higher acceptance rates indicate a higher likelihood of a student being admitted. An acceptance rate measures how likely a student will be admitted. For example, schools like MIT have a low acceptance rate due to their global ranking.

Best Universities to acquire Automotive Engineering degrees around the World:

These are the top 13 schools that offer automotive engineering degrees:

  • Austin Peay State University
  • Indiana State University
  • The University of Michigan
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Ferris State University
  • Brigham Young University Idaho
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Tennessee
  • Bharath University (Bharath Institution of Higher Education & Research)
  • VIT University (Chennai).
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Tsinghua University
  • The University of Texas at Arlington

Automotive Engineering Degree

Here are the Automotive Engineering degrees:

Bachelor’s degree

Because not many schools offer automotive engineering, most students interested in automotive engineering enroll in a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Many classes in automotive engineering are similar because it is an offshoot from mechanical engineering. Some schools offer automotive engineering classes as part of their program in mechanical engineering. Some of these classes include:

  • Automobile dynamics
  • Automotive electronics
  • Engine parts
  • Theory of the diesel engine
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Fuel cell systems
  • Powertrain dynamics

A bachelor’s degree is often completed in four years. To complete the bachelor’s in engineering, the student must design a project independently or with others.

Depending on their background, the new engineer may be required to operate under the supervision of licensed professional engineers for some time.

However, to become licensed, they must pass both the Engineer-In-Training exam and the Professional Engineers exam.

Read this: Easiest and Hardest Engineering Degrees to get

Master’s Degree

Though a master’s degree is not a compulsory requirement to work in this field, it will provide students with specialized knowledge and skills in automotive engineering.

Master’s degrees also offer students research opportunities. A master’s degree in automotive engineering takes approximately two years.

Studies include:

  • Design and manufacturing
  • Environment and energy
  • Materials
  • Vibration and noise
  • Powertrain
  • Control and dynamics
  • Computer software and electronics
  • Ergonomics

A master’s degree requires that the student fulfills the university’s thesis requirements and completes a final research project.

Online Degree:

Only a few universities offer online degrees in automotive engineering. They do not offer them at the master’s level because an online master’s degree provides only theoretical knowledge.

However, the student cannot gain any practical experience that could be crucial for securing a job as an automotive engineer. Online programs assume that students have had hands-on experience during their bachelor’s degrees.

Thus, online master’s degrees in automotive engineering are for working automotive engineers.

What does it cost to have a degree in automotive engineering?

Based on Collegecalc findings, the average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in Automotive Engineering Technology/Technician is $31,798. In a four-year program, it will cost $127,192.

How much do Automotive Engineers make?

According to Glassdoor, the average national salary for an automotive engineer is $76,430. Below are the names of some of the most popular employers for automotive engineers, along with their pay scale:

  • Ford Motor Company – $91k
  • General Motors Corporation – $85k
  • FCA Corp – $77k
  • Chrysler Group LLC. – $88k

Automotive Engineers: Job Outlook

According to Chron, between now and 2026, the automotive engineer employment rate is expected to increase by 9 percent. The report shows that the USA is the most popular automotive engineer, followed by Texas and Michigan.

Automotive Engineering Resources

These are some resources that may be of use to potential engineers in the automotive industry. These resources include associations as well as accrediting organizations. Some of them are listed below:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers

What is the average amount of years it takes to become an automotive engineer?

A bachelor’s degree can, in most cases, be earned in four years. The master’s degree in automotive engineering takes two years.

Which board is in charge of accrediting automotive engineering programs?

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is in charge of approving engineering programs around the World.

Read this: Rolling Admission (Major tips and tricks)


There is an increasing demand for automotive engineers as the industry grows and technology advances. To advance their careers, engineers must attend accredited universities by ABET and become licensed.

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