How to Become an Automotive Engineering Technician

Learn how to become an automotive engineering technician. Research the education and career requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career as an automotive engineering technician.

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Should I Become an Automotive Engineering Technician?

Automotive engineering technicians assist automotive engineers by conducting tests, performing inspections, making observations, collecting data, making prototypes, and analyzing test data. Those who work in research and development help test automotive systems and parts for safety, performance, quality, and efficiency. When conducting tests, automotive engineering technicians must take care to keep records of test data and observations by taking photographs, creating spreadsheets, or writing reports. They may analyze this data and make suggestions for improvement based on their findings.

The majority of automotive engineering technicians work on a full-time basis. Although there is some risk of injury from the equipment that techs use, safety precautions, apparel and regulations minimize risk to workers.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Associate's degree
Degree Name Automotive engineering technology
Experience 0-3+ years
Key Skills Communication and interpersonal skills; detail-oriented; troubleshooting; proficiency in related systems and technologies; mathematics
Salary $53,530 (2014 BLS Median for Mechanical Engineering Technicians)

'Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Step 1: Earn a Degree

While formal education may not be a concrete requirement to become an automotive engineering technician, most employers prefer to hire job applicants who have at least an associate's degree in automotive engineering technology. These programs may be found at community colleges and technical schools.

Automotive engineering technology courses typically include both classroom and laboratory components in order to give students both conceptual and hands-on training. Courses may include electronics, brake systems, mechanical drafting, automotive testing, automotive transmissions, manufacturing processes and welding.

Step 2: Begin Working in the Field

Because some automotive engineering technician positions can require several years of experience, it's important to to gain as much job experience through entry-level positions as possible. Examples of job duties in an entry-level job can include prepping model changes, coordination duties, reading specs and blueprints and installation or modification duties. Experience with tasks like these can potentially help lead to the more advanced jobs available to aspiring automotive engineering technicians.

Success Tip:

  • Hone related skills. Automotive engineering technicians who work in the area of design should be creative. They should also be comfortable working with computers and computer-aided design software (CAD), such as AutoCAD. Those who work in research and development should also be comfortable working with computers since they may need to use computers to record and analyze data.

Step 3: Continue Training and Education for Career Advancement

Those who want to pursue higher levels of employment may want to consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program for design or engineering. Technicians with an associate's degree can transfer their credits to a 4-year degree program. Once you have a bachelor's degree in engineering, you can become an automotive engineer, product designer or mechanical engineer. Staying current with new technologies and software through continuing education will also increase career advancement opportunities within your current position.

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