Automotive Engineer

An automotive engineer creates and tests new technologies that make vehicles more efficient. The role is very hands on and involves designing new products, finding solutions to problems or coming up with new ways to do things. 

Interested in this career? Watch the video
Automotive Engineer
Press play to see what an Automotive Engineer does
What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $50,684 up to $93,463+
The good
  • Working on one of the most important parts of a motor vehicle
  • Challenging but rewarding to get it right
  • Helping develop cars on the market
  • Experiencing the final product with a test drive
The not so good
  • Long hours
  • Becoming specialised and getting stuck on one component of the car
  • Being a specialised role, jobs can be hard to find

An automotive engineer has the exciting job of developing vehicles and coming up with innovative ideas to meet future demands. Your work might involve designing a new product, solving engineering problems or coming up with new production processes.

An automotive engineer manages all aspects of a project. To be able to do this, you will need a solid understanding of maths to be able to interperet technical data and use computer modelling software. You will also need to work out how much a project is going to cost. 

Your role will also involve team meetings to report on how a project is progressing, so good English skills will help with communicating, writing reports or delivering presentations.

If you enjoy solving problems, being creative and working as part of a team, then a career as an automotive engineer could be for you.

I get to work on a number of different projects at once... Top Gear eat your heart out!


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.


Check out the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers for more information

  • If you have a particular area of interest, like cars, talk to companies about doing work experience – it could help get you work in the long term
  • Get involved in competitions like the Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival for experience to put on your resume
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study