There are many different types of jobs in automobile engineering, though as the industry and technology change these positions may fluctuate in use and importance. Some of the most important positions in the automotive industry are the engineers who work on the electronics and interior components of the vehicles. There are also engineers and designers who create the exterior of the vehicles, typically in a way that is aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing. One of the most rapidly growing opportunities for jobs in automobile engineering is for software programmers who work on the firmware installed on the various electronics and onboard computers used in automotive vehicles.
Jobs in automobile engineering typically refer to those positions held by engineers and designers who work on creating the concept and design of a vehicle. This is in contrast to the workers involved in factories and manufacturing centers, often dealing with the physical construction of vehicles on an assembly line. Some of the most important engineers working in automotive fields are those involved with the design and electronics on the inside of a vehicle. From the computerized features, such as digital radio, global positioning system (GPS) integration, and rear-view camera and monitor systems, to the design of the engine itself, these individuals are integral to the final product available from a manufacturer.
There are also positions in automobile engineering for designers and engineers who work on the exterior of a vehicle. These individuals are often involved in designing the body or chassis of a vehicle to be aerodynamic, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. The work in automobile engineering performed by these professionals often closely ties in with designs and ideas for internal functionality, so engineers in both aspects of the industry must typically work together.
One area of automobile engineering that is rapidly growing is software development and programming. A great deal of the new computerized features available in cars and other vehicles relies on the implementation of firmware throughout the various systems of a vehicle. Firmware refers to computer software that is installed directly into hardware before it is sold or installed into other equipment, and this software is typically not accessed or modified directly by a user. Some vehicle manufacturers may begin employing more software designers than automotive engineers to more fully utilize onboard computers and other developing aspects of advanced automobile engineering.