Vehicle Engineer

Design and build safety features for vehicles, watercrafts and avionics.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$51,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Vehicle Engineers do?

If you’re fascinated by automotive design, new technology, and engines, then consider a career as a Vehicle Engineer. A Vehicle Engineer’s job is one with a variety of specialties, so you can choose your area of interest. Of course, Engineers are well versed in math and science, but you’ll also need a pioneering spirit, an inquisitive nature, and a knack for problem solving.

With those skills and traits, you can work as a Vehicle Engineer in the automotive, aerospace, or marine industries. That means you can help build any number of vehicles. Examples include cars and trucks, boats, submarines, cruise ships, airplanes, helicopters, construction vehicles, and tractors.

When you bring your skills to the table, the entire team benefits. And it does take a team to build these magnificent machines. You work with Automotive Engineers, Materials Engineers, Marine Engineers, Aerospace Engineers, and Mechanical Engineers, as well as Technicians and Technologists.

Together, you have the common goal of designing vehicles that are safe. In fact, your entire job might focus solely on one safety feature, such as seat belts, air bags, steering wheels, or seat design. If you are more mechanically minded, you might focus on the engine. In this specialty, you concentrate on things like improving emissions or fuel efficiency.

Other areas of specialty include steering, towing, braking, traction, handling, suspension, and performance. Whatever your specialty though, you always consider the weight and functionality of materials, timelines, and costs. It’s a lot of work, but when it all comes together, you can revel in the satisfaction of a job well done, not to mention one heck of a good-looking product.


Should I be a Vehicle Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Vehicle Controls Engineer, Ventilating Engineer

    How to become a Vehicle Engineer

    Most Vehicle Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:ebq9bh&chl=no+college+%284%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2852%25%29|master%27s+%2823%25%29|doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,4,52
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