Auto Mechanical Engineer [Mechanical engineering]

Auto Mechanical Engineer

The Difference Between an Automotive Engineer & an Auto Mechanic

Auto mechanics spend most of their day inspecting and repairing vehiclesAuto mechanics spend most of their day inspecting and repairing vehicles

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Automotive engineers and automotive mechanics each play critical roles in keeping safe and efficient vehicles on the roads in the United States. Engineers work on vehicles in a broader sense, designing and developing new vehicles and improving the performance of existing machines. Mechanics diagnose and repair vehicles on a case-by-case basis, typically in a repair shop or at an auto dealer.

Auto Engineer Responsibilities

In addition to working for auto manufacturing companies, automotive engineers also work for engineering firms, government regulatory agencies and other departments and firms that need vehicle engineering expertise. Some engineers work on the creation of automobiles, helping to design systems and components, while others examine existing vehicles to analyze their effectiveness and to diagnose systemic problems and explore possible improvements. Engineers are a critical part of the manufacturing of vehicles and the ongoing oversight that ensures their fitness for public use.

Auto Mechanic Responsibilities

Auto mechanics largely work in auto repair shops, typically at either a shop that repairs a wide range of vehicles or a dealer that works on a particular brand. Mechanics work directly with drivers in a way engineers do not, discussing the specific operations of a particular vehicle. Mechanics labor to identify the source of problems with vehicles, then repair them so the car or truck can operate closer to its optimum level. Mechanics also carry out routine inspections of vehicles to make sure that they are safe to operate on the road.

Related Reading: What Is a Customer Service Mechanic?

Education and Training

Automotive engineers have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in engineering and many proceed to earn a master's degree that allows them to specialize more closely on automotive engineering. Auto mechanics need to have a minimum of a high school degree or its equivalent. In addition, mechanics typically receive extensive training before they work on vehicles. Some mechanics begin their training at a vocational school or in an associate's degree program that focuses on automotive repairs. Most then require years of on-the-job tutoring and hands-on experience to be ready to handle the wide variety of repairs that they will face.

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