Automotive engineering technicians work with automotive engineers to operate, repair, maintain and test equipment used in motor vehicles. In some environments, such as an airport, they are responsible for keeping equipment and vehicles serviceable. They review blueprints and designs to determine test specifications and procedures. Automotive engineering technicians use software to ensure motor vehicle parts function correctly. They record test procedures and results and make recommendations for changes.
An automotive engineering technician typically performs the following duties:
- Performs automotive system or component tests to determine performance, durability, and efficiency.
- Gathers and analyzes test data for related systems and parts.
- Determines the cause and nature of defects through inspections and testing.
- Reads and understands blueprints, drawings, charts, and schematics related to automotive engineering projects.
- Reports suggested improvements based on data, observations, and analyses of both.
- Creates or modifies prototype components.
- Maintains and monitors manual and computer testing equipment, supplies, and replacement parts.
- Performs other related duties as assigned.
The following job titles also refer to automotive engineering technician:
bus engineering technician
bus design checker
automotive design checker
truck design checker
lorry engineering technician
equipment and vehicle technician
motorcycle engineering technician
car engineering technician
motor vehicle design checker
vehicle production design checker
car design checker
coach design checker
coach engineering technician
lorry design checker
truck engineering technician
vehicle production engineering technician
motorcycle design checker
Automotive engineering technicians spend much of their time at manufacturing sites and other work sites. They work with different types of machines and must take safety precautions and follow proper procedures to prevent injury from equipment and exposure to chemicals and toxic materials.
Most automotive engineering technicians work full-time hours, with occasional overtime during weeknights and weekends to meet project deadlines. A flexible attitude is required as the work environment may vary. The ability to work with different types of people and to follow directions and procedures is also essential in this field.
Automotive engineering technicians typically have an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology or a community college or vocational-technical school certificate. Community colleges offer a combination of liberal arts coursework and technical training, whereas vocational-technical schools focus on the training programs that local employers require.
Employers prefer to hire automotive engineering technicians with at least two to three years of prior work experience. A good start in the field is through an apprenticeship program while in school and through internships and part-time work at engineering service firms and automotive manufacturers.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Automotive engineering technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Automotive engineering technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to automotive engineering technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of automotive engineering technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of automotive engineering technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of automotive engineering technician.
- Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
- Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
- Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
- Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
- Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
- Mechanics of motor vehicles: The way energy forces interact and affect components in motor vehicles such as cars, buses, invalid carriages and other motorised vehicles.
- CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.
- ICT software specifications: The characteristics, use and operations of various software products such as computer programmes and application software.
- Multimedia systems: The methods, procedures and techniques about the operation of multimedia systems, usually a combination of software and hardware, presenting various types of media such as video and audio.
- Vehicle manufacturing process: Series of steps taken in order to produce a car or any other motor vehicle such as the design, the chassis and body assembly, the painting process, the interior assembly and the quality control.
- Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of automotive engineering technician.
- Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
- Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
- Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
- Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
- Recommend product improvements: Recommend product modifications and process improvements.
- Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of automotive engineering technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- CADD software: The computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process.
- Design drawings: Understand design drawings detailing the design of products, tools, and engineering systems.
- Electrical engineering: Understand electrical engineering, a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
- Electronics principles: The study of electric energy, more specifically electron, control and its prominent principles regarding integrated circuits and electrical systems.
- Aerodynamics: The scientific field that deals with the way gases interact with moving bodies. As we usually deal with atmospheric air, aerodynamics is primarily concerned with the forces of drag and lift, which are caused by air passing over and around solid bodies.
- CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
- Guidance, navigation and control: The engineering discipline that deals with the design and development of systems that can control the motion of automobiles, ships, space- and aircraft. It includes control over vehicle’s trajectory from its present location to a designated target and vehicle’s speed and altitude.
- Airport safety regulations: Know airport safety regulations and instructions.
- Defense system: The various weapons and weapon systems used to protect citizens and to harm or shield incoming enemies and enemy weapons.
- Product data management: The use of software to track all information concerning a product such as technical specifications, drawings, design specifications, and production costs.
- Synthetic natural environment: The simulation and representation of components of physical world such as climate, wheather and space where military systems exist in order to obtain information and perform tests.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of automotive engineering technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
- Perform tests on airport vehicles: Test the suitability of vehicles following maintenance. Ensure that all security and manufacturer specifications have been met before releasing the vehicles to operations in airports.
- Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
- Disassemble equipment: Disassembles equipment using hand tools in order to clean equipments and to perform regular operational maintenance.
- Maintain electrical engines: Understanding of electrical circuits and being able to repair. Test and replace electrical components and wiring, using test meters, soldering equipment, and hand tools.
- Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
- Perform physical stress tests on models: Perform tests on products’ models to analyse the ability of products to endure temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors.
- Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
- Manage health and safety standards: Oversee all personnel and processes to comply with health, safety and hygiene standards. Communicate and support alignment of these requirements with the company’s health and safety programmes.
- Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
- Manage airport vehicle licences: Manage the licences of vehicles that are permitted to operate inside airports. Know the specifications of these vehicles and ensure they meet licencing requirements.
- Use cadd software: Use computer-aided design and drafting software to make detailed drawings and blueprints of designs.
- Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
- Ensure compliance with airport security measures: Ensure compliance with airport security measures prior to the boarding of planes.
- Analyse stress resistance of products: Analyse the ability of products to endure stress imposed by temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors, by using mathematical formulas and computer simulations.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
- Perform maintenance on installed equipment: Perform the maintenance on installed equipment on-site. Follow procedures to avoid uninstalling equipment from machinery or vehicles.
- Plan manufacturing processes: Determine and schedule production and assembly steps. Plan manpower and equipment needs taking ergonomic considerations into account.
- Check functionality of essential components of airport vehicles: Check the functionality of essential components of airport vehicles and equipment such as brakes, controls, tires, and lights before releasing them for operations.
- Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
- Operate testbeds: Operate testbeds which are designed to assist in the process of testing new equipment or engines. Control testbeds to facilitate the testing of engines or machinery under maintenance conditions.
- Re-assemble engines: Re-assemble transport equipment engines after overhaul, inspection, repair, maintenace or cleaning according to blueprints and technical plans.
- Maintain snow removal equipment: Perform maintenance of snow and ice removal devices and de-icing equipment to ensure they are ready for use at any time.
- Identify airport safety hazards: Spot threats related to security at the airport and apply procedures to counteract them in a quick, safe, and efficient way.
- Inspect data: Analyse, transform and model data in order to discover useful information and to support decision-making.
- Write stress analysis reports: Write down a report with all your findings encountered during the stress analysis. Write down performances, failures and other conclusions.
- Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
- Manage airport workshops: Manage airport workshops to organise operations and ensure completion of all necessary tasks. Prepare maintenance activities according to the requirements and needs of the airport.
- Determine production feasibility: Determine if a product or its components can be produced by applying engineering principles.
- Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
- Determine maintenance schedules for airport equipment: Determine maintenance schedules for the equipment and vehicles used in the airport. Consider different criteria in order to plan maintenance activities. Ensure availability of vehicles and equipment at all times.
- Keep airport maintenance equipment in suitable condition: Keep sweepers, mowers, and other airport maintenance equipment ready for use in order to remove contaminants from aircraft operating areas and to ensure the height of grass on unpaved areas meets regulations.
- Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
- Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
- Assess operating cost: Estimate the operating cost in terms of manpower, consumables and maintenance.
- Perform preventive maintenance on fire fighting vehicles: Keep firefighting vehicles ready for use at any time. Maintain all aspects of firefighting vehicles and ensure that vehicles function correctly.
- Disassemble engines: Disassemble internal combustion engines, generators, pumps, transmissions and other components of mechanical equipment.
- Position engine on test stand: Position the engine on a stand or in a cell, ready for testing, by using a hoist or overhead crane.
- Maintain vehicle electrical equipment: Maintain and repair electrical equipment, switchboards, electric motors, generators and other electrical and electronic devices used in vehicles. Detect electric malfunctions, locate faults, and take measures to prevent damage. Operate electrical testing and measuring equipment. Interpret electrical and simple electronic diagrams.
- Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
- Follow manufacturer guidelines in use of airport equipment: Follow advice provided by manufacturers on the use and maintenance of the different vehicles, equipment, and instruments used in airports. Establish communication processes with manufacturers and understand all the mechanical, electrical, and preventive, actions needed to utilise equipment effectively.
ISCO group and title
3115 – Mechanical engineering technicians
- Automotive engineering technician – ESCO
- Automotive Engineering Technician – SHRM
- Automotive engineering technicians – Firsthand.co
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