Is automotive engineering a good career? (solved)

If you ask if automotive engineering is a good career or major, this post is the exact post you should read.

in this post, we’re going to talk about:

  • automotive engineering market demand and salary
  • what automotive engineer study and with the heardest subjects
  • finally, give a recommendation on which career should choose

so keep reading to prevent making a lot of mistakes students do.

Is automotive engineering a good career?

According to payscale, the average automotive engineering salary is $80139, which is a respectful occupation. But still lower than mechanical engineering and electrical engineering occupations that offer around $100,000 per year. Because automotive engineering has lower demand compared to mechanical engineering.

Officially automotive engineers do these 3 principal steps:

  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Test

1 – design

automotive engineers design all car components like:

  • engines
  • breaking systems
  • an electrical and mechanical systems like windows mechanics
  • vehicle
  • wheel

Automotive engineers spend a lot of time in offices designing by using softwares like CAD to design or create automotive cars. So as an automotive engineer, you will be doing a lot of design.

So if you don’t like design, automotive engineering will not be the best major to choose.

2 – manufacturing

The second thing that automotive engineers do and collaborate on is manufacturing engineering, which creates the process that allows producing automotive pieces.

In other words, you will design systems and install responsible machines for production pieces, for example, programming and setting the parameters of the robot whole well cars vehicle.


Manufacturing is a very stressful operation for people who are INTJ or HSP. This profession will not be a good fit. It is not a profession that anyone can do.

you could read this related article

15 Reasons to avoid manufacturing engineering

You just have to take a personality test and discover who you are before deciding to know if you can resist pressure. Automotive engineering is not the best profession you could choose.

3 – test

the last step that automotive engineers do is the testing phase.

The testing phase is experimentation that engineers make to test their designs. So as an automotive engineer, you will make a lot of crashing, and resistance tests like you might see in the video below.

The downside of automotive engineers’ field

Most companies don’t look for an automotive engineering degree as much as mechanical engineers. Not because automotive engineering is bad, but most companies hire mechanical engineering in the automotive field.

Automotive engineering is too narrow a field, especially if you think of taking it directly after high school. For this reason, we find many people doing their master’s or Ph.D.’s in automotive engineering after taking their bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, which is the best choice.

It is not completely bad to take automotive engineering, but you have to be aware that this field will keep you limited. It is not like mechanical engineering, where you can take different industries, even automotive itself.

 because many industries look at automotive engineering as a specific field that doesn’t respond to their needs.

Is automotive engineering hard?

Automotive engineering is hard like mechanical or electrical engineering, it has a lot of math and physics subjects. In addition, automotive engineers focus a lot on design and manufacturing. So for people who are not good at math or physics, automotive engineering is to avoid.

we’re going to list the hardest subject that automotive engineering students study in this major

1 – math

Automotive engineers stud a lot of math, especially the hardest one that many students run from, which is calculus. In the automotive engineering curriculum, you will study:

  • calculus 1
  • calculus 2
  • calculus 3

In other words, you will study the most challenging math subjects like:

  • Multivariable
  • Triple integral
  • Differential equations etc

You will study linear algebra more than calculus and consider it the hardest algebra topic in college. You could read this related article

Is linear algebra harder than calculus? (important keys)

2 – physics

As an automotive engineer, you will be taking two classes of physics:

  • physics 1
  • physics 2

In physics 1 you will revise all the subjects you studied in high school. While in physics 2 you will learn these new following physics topics, such as:

  • Thermodynamic,
  • Fundamentals Mechanics of Solids
  • dynamics
  • fluid mechanics

These subjects are highly math concentrated, so you will be using a lot of calculus, especially derivatives and differential equations. For this reason, process engineer students dig deeper into math.

In addition, automotive engineers study some specific subjects about cars, such:

  • the science of material
  • material resistance
  • thermal motors

3 – chemistry

Chemistry in cars is a model that students study. Some students specialize on, especially for people interested in working in the automotive safety industry such as airbags.

In other words, yoiu will learn how a material behaves under chemical reactions. Chemistry is essential when talking about protecting vehicles against rust and painting.

4 – Desing

the hardest and most interesting part of automotive designs. As an engineer in this field, you will be using a lot of 2 principal technologies, CAD and CAM.

CAD is a program that engineers use to design their works. At the same time, CAM is an advanced software technic that helps automotive engineers visualize and see their design moving in real-life operations.

The famous software that uses automotive engineering in CAM design is Solidworksk is a huge program. It is not easy to learn. It takes time as well as CAD.

5 – electrical engineering topics

The last thing that automotive engineers will study is some electrical engineering topics, this is really interesting, especially for people who work are interested in electrical car engineering.

In electrical car engineering you will learn the following subjects:

  • 1 – Circuit analysis
  • 2 – electronics
  • 3 – electromagnetics
  • 4- programming hardware, especially c and c++
  • 5- high power system

These fields allow you as a student to work and take an electrical engineering occupation in the automotive industry.


Commonly few offer automotive engineering as a principal major. So most automotive engineers today are mechanical engineers who took a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering or even made a specialty like a master’s or Ph.D. in automotive engineering.

So as a recommendation is better to look for mechanical or electrical engineering than decide or make a master’s in automotive engineering.

This is the savviest decision and will allow you to work in other industries in case of not find a job in the automotive industry.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.