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Automotive engineer

An automotive engineer works as part of a team of technical staff responsible for vehicle design, development, manufacture and testing.

Automotive engineering is a branch of vehicle engineering which incorporates mechanical, electrical, electric and safety elements. A whole variety of vehicle production areas are encompassed: automotive engineers tend to specialise in either designing, development or manufacturing. They invent and conduct tests in order to assess a multitude of performance and safety aspects of vehicles and components. They use computer assisted design technology for vehicle design.

Work activities

  • Conducting automotive testing.
  • Troubleshooting and modifying production processes.
  • Designing components and specific systems such as steering, brakes, aerodynamics and hybrid power and modifying them to improve performance or economic/ environmental aspects.
  • Estimating costs for production.

Work conditions

Travel: can vary depending on the industry. International trips feature regularly in the motor sport industry, whereas plant/office based vacancies do not generally feature regular travel.
Working hours: can involve shifts or 9 to 5 office hours. The motor sport industry requires weekend hours.
Location: in towns and cities across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Work in the motor sport industry could require relocation.

Entry requirements

An engineering degree is essential; further education in mechanical engineering is necessary for progression in the field. Chartered Engineer or Associate Engineer status in Ireland can be achieved after obtaining a relevant degree or diploma and around four years of workplace experience. Institution of Engineers of Ireland membership is an option to those who have the National Certificate in Engineering.