Automotive Engineering Technicians

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About the Job

Assist engineers in determining the practicality of proposed product design changes and plan and carry out tests on experimental test devices or equipment for performance, durability, or efficiency.

It is also Called

  • Test Engineer
  • Research Technician
  • Laboratory Technician (Lab Technician)
  • Engineering Team Supervisor
  • Emissions Engineer
  • Durability Technician
  • Automotive Engineering Technician
  • Auto Design Checker

What They Do

  • Build instrumentation or laboratory test equipment for special purposes.
  • Participate in research or testing of computerized automotive applications, such as telemetrics, intelligent transportation systems, artificial intelligence, or automatic control.
  • Test performance of vehicles that use alternative fuels, such as alcohol blends, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biodiesel, nano diesel, or alternative power methods, such as solar energy or hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Recommend tests or testing conditions in accordance with designs, customer requirements, or industry standards to ensure test validity.
  • Recommend product or component design improvements, based on test data or observations.
  • Order new test equipment, supplies, or replacement parts.
  • Fabricate new or modify existing prototype components or fixtures.
  • Improve fuel efficiency by testing vehicles or components that use lighter materials, such as aluminum, magnesium alloy, or plastic.
  • Analyze performance of vehicles or components that have been redesigned to increase fuel efficiency, such as camless or dual-clutch engines or alternative types of air-conditioning systems.
  • Maintain test equipment in operational condition by performing routine maintenance or making minor repairs or adjustments as needed.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $62,750 with most people making between $37,800 and $89,020

Outlook

0.44%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,500 people in California. It is projected that there will be 4,700 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 20 openings due to growth and about 120 replacement openings for approximately 140 total annual openings.