Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:


Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer


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  Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Occupation Details

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Engineer - Automotive

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k > 75 
Engineer - Automobile
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 75 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Automotive engineering is a branch of vehicle engineering which incorporates mechanical, electrical, electric and safety elements.

The Work header image

Designing and developing a vehicle involves a very wide range of engineering knowledge. For example, automobile engineers use their knowledge of mechanical engineering, combustion, vehicle structures and aerodynamics. They also need knowledge of computers and electronic and electrical systems, which are all becoming increasingly sophisticated in modern vehicles. For example, some cars now have computer-controlled engine systems and digital display dashboards.  
Some automobile engineers specialise in design (they may be known as design engineers). The average motor vehicle has around 10,000 individual parts and each must be designed, developed and manufactured. Design engineers need to take into account factors such as the strength, safety, efficiency, appearance and cost of parts. Many design engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) technology in their work, allowing them to create and change designs much more quickly than in the days of drawing boards. After design, they need to turn plans into prototypes. At this stage computer simulation and physical testing are carried out. Once the design has been approved the engineer plans and monitors the product process. If the design is not approved the engineer must go back to the 'drawing board' to alter the design.  
Other automobile engineers specialise in research and development, (they may be known as research engineers). They must take into account factors such as cost, the safety and comfort of the driver including crash and safety testing (this is an aspect of ergonomics), fuel efficiency and environmental issues.  
Research engineers work on both new and existing products. For example, they create new technologies such as electric batteries and bio-diesel engines. A lot of their work takes place in laboratories and workshops, although they may also work out in the open.  
Automobile engineers also need to be commercially aware. They may work with manufacturers to plan full-scale production once all the testing has been completed. They are also involved in overseeing quality control.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Conduct or direct system-level automotive testing.


Design control systems or algorithms for purposes such as automotive energy management, emissions management, or increased operational safety or performance.


Design or analyze automobile systems in areas such as aerodynamics, alternate fuels, ergonomics, hybrid power, brakes, transmissions, steering, calibration, safety, or diagnostics.


Alter or modify designs to obtain specified functional or operational performance.


Build models for algorithm or control feature verification testing.


Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.


Conduct automotive design reviews.


Develop calibration methodologies, test methodologies, or tools.


Develop engineering specifications or cost estimates for automotive design concepts.


Develop or integrate control feature requirements.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Automobile engineers need knowledge of many different aspects of engineering, including mechanical engineering, combustion, aerodynamics, electrical and electronic systems and fuel technology.  
You will need the ability to think in an orderly and logical way, as well as having imagination and a curious mind. Automobile engineers often work to deadlines, so you must be able to work under pressure.  
Excellent communication skills are needed to work in a team with, for example, design engineers, research engineers, engineering technicians and manufacturers. Advanced computer skills are needed in this career, for example, to use computer-aided design technology or to work on sophisticated computer equipment in modern vehicles.  
You need to have good analytical and problem solving skills. You must be able to prioritise and plan effectively. You also need to keep up to date with new development and regulations.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Engineer - from:  iCould [UK] Video
Go..Motorsport Engineer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Society of the Irish Motor Industry
  Address: 5 Upper Pembroke St, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 1690
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Insurance Ireland
  Address: Insurance House, 39 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 1820
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: LIA
  Address: LIA House, 183 Kimmage Road West, Dublin 12
  Tel: 01 - 709 9850
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Insurance Institute of Ireland
  Address: Insurance House, 39 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 677 2582
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

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