Automotive Engineers are truly the life blood of every automaker. From conceptualization to design and finally to manufacturing of a car, it is an Automotive Engineer who does all these. However, Automotive Engineers can be classified into three teams namely: design, development and manufacturing.
Those in design are the ones who design components and systems (like brake system and aerodynamics) found in a car. It is also the duty of a Design Engineer to do testing the designs they made to see if, indeed, the intended result for a particular design meet expectations. Like for example, a Design Engineer came up with a superior aerodynamic body design that uses fiber glass. Once approved to go ahead with the project, the prototype for this body design would then be fabricated for testing purposes. This prototype then would be subjected to all kinds of test that would check its sturdiness. Computer simulations would also be a big part in product designs so a bit of computer know-how is necessary for Design Engineers.
The development team is responsible for integration of the different systems looking from the point of view of a complete car. Final testing of anything would be his concern since it is his call what inclusions and exclusions would be made. Because of so many considerations to consider, the Development Engineer would have to decide if the car would be for the racing or for the city driving. A racer car would mean development should be geared for higher power displacement and faster acceleration while city driving would lean more to less fuel output cars. Generally, it is the Development Engineers who would set the tone of the car.
The third type of Automotive Engineers would be those in the manufacturing team. Once the design of a car has been ordered for production, the Manufacturing Engineers would be the ones in charge of planning and executing the assembly of the vehicles. They would decide what equipment, tools, and people would be needed. Making and designing assembly plants should rest upon their shoulders but perhaps the most important question for Manufacturing Engineers is how many units they can make on a daily basis.
Automotive Engineers are indeed a vital cog in the automotive industry. The automotive industry pretty much is a self sustaining industry as cars get obsolete for a period of 5 years or so. This would mean that Automotive Engineers would never run out of work as long as people have a need for cars.