How To Become An Automotive Engineer?

Those who wish to work in the auto industry should start by studying a basic engineering degree. Here is everything you need to know to begin.

Becoming an engineer is an effective way to stay excited about your career well into old age. Modern day automotive engineers are modern day inventors. They are the people who design our cars so that they perform better, become more aerodynamic, and go faster for less fuel. It is no wonder then that automotive engineering is a highly desirable career much sought after by those who enjoy cars and vehicles.

Although most people who said to study for a career in automotive engineering do so from school age, it is never too late to retrain. You could ditch your office career tomorrow and replace it with a career in automation which better matches your hobbies and interests. Let’s define what an automotive engineer is before we move on to the skills and qualifications needed to become one.

What does an automotive engineer do?

An automotive engineer doesn’t just work on cars. Although mechanical engineering is a form of automotive engineering, there are many other types which may be better suited to you. For example, an automotive engineer might design new windmills, boats, or even offshore buildings. They design parts and finish products which help automate processes. Those processes are usually commercial but can extend beyond the ordinary.

Looking for engineering jobs? A career as an automotive engineer might see you involved in testing new products. You might be making improvements to distribution systems and supply chains. You could be involved in car sales, design, or even in building racing cars. There are opportunities in automation everywhere in the modern business, so this type of career is in high demand.

What skills and qualifications does an automotive engineer need?

To get your career as an automotive engineer off the ground you will need the following skills or qualifications.


  • Attention to detail
  • Able to problem solve
  • Constantly seeking improvement
  • Inventive people go far in this career
  • Presentation skills
  • Talking and team skills
  • You must be organised
  • You must analyse and improve your work


  • You can take on an apprenticeship to become an engineer
  • You will need at least 1 A level, or between 1 and 3 A levels for a degree
  • You can study one of the following subjects to degree level to become an auto engineer:
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Electrical/electronic engineering
    • Design or manufacture engineering
    • Plain engineering or automotive engineering
  • Many car dealerships like you to have a year’s experience before giving you a fully paid role

What Do Auto Engineers Earn?

Lastly, let’s look at how much you can expect to make as an auto engineer to find out if it is worth your while. The UK Government estimates that a starting salary for this role is £20,000, but that experienced automotive engineers can earn up to £45,000. If you live inside Central London, you can expect this salary to be far more.