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I am in the 12th grade and I am just beginning to explore my future career, what are some careers and helpful next steps I should consider based on my passions and interests?

What I really like is watching videos about cars and how people build their own cars. #career #mechanic #cars #teacher

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John’s Answer

Automotive engineers design the systems and mechanisms of cars. These professionals ensure that automotive designs and systems conform to budgeted quality and cost specifications. Similar to other types of mechanical engineers, automotive engineers analyze potential problems in design and work to solve those problems, design and retest prototypes of cars and car parts, and oversee the manufacturing of automotives. Computers are a big part of how automotive engineers do their jobs. Automotive engineers can design and test brake systems, engines, safety mechanisms, fuel technologies and transmissions. In the field, engineers use design software to devise new vehicle designs or systems, including ThinkDesign Engineering, Gamma Technologies GT-SUITE or Corel Painter Sketch Pad. Some engineers also use grinders, machine tools and workshop presses to fabricate prototype parts for testing. Individuals interested in designing, testing and creating automotive systems may be drawn to this line of work. Most automotive engineers work on a full-time basis, although many work more than 40 hours a week on occasion. Such engineers usually work as part of a team. Although most of their time will be spent in an office setting, engineers may need to occasionally travel to car manufacturing plants, as well.

A 4-year degree is the minimum qualification for most automotive engineering positions. Undergraduate programs in this field are most commonly offered in automotive engineering technology, which can cover the basic principles of engineering along with modern vehicle design requirements in terms of safety, fuel economy and industrial manufacturing. Few colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree program in automotive engineering. Accordingly, aspiring automotive engineers may consider earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Within a mechanical engineering program, students may have the opportunity to specialize or concentrate in automotive engineering. While students will take general courses covering mechanical engineering, specialized courses may be offered in automotive engineering. These courses may cover automobile dynamics, engine parts, alternative energy sources, fuel cell systems and powertrain dynamics. While master's degree programs in automotive engineering are available, automotive engineering is a complex and interdisciplinary field, so students may also find relevant coursework through graduate programs in electrical engineering, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering.

An automotive engineering internship will provide students with experience in the field and offers them an opportunity to apply what they have learned in a classroom to professional situations. These internships are offered through automotive suppliers or manufacturers and opportunities may be available to specialize in a specific area. Specializations could be in simulation software, robotics or infrastructure. Individuals who have completed automotive engineering technology undergraduate programs may seek positions as engineer assistants. However, most students earn a degree and enter the workforce as engineers. Students who earn a graduate degree can work as automotive engineering supervisors. Many automotive engineering positions are focused on automotive design or testing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for engineers in general was expected to grow 5 percent from 2018-2028, while positions in mechanical engineering were expected to increase at a slower rate of 4 percent (www.bls.gov). The average Automotive Engineer salary is $84,500 as of August 27, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $71,000 and $98,00. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was Helpful Edwin

Thank You Sophia. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. -- Eleanor Roosevelt John Frick

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Lydia’s Answer

This is a great question, Edwin!

When gearing up for a big decision about careers and what's next after college, it may be helpful to start with some self-reflective work, thinking about your values, passions and what's most important to you.

There are a ton of great free online resources that offer career tests that may give you some insight on careers that may suit you. Here is a link that lists some free online career tests: https://www.studentresearchfoundation.org/blog/free-online-career-tests/

These tests should not be viewed as definite, absolute indicators of what career you should go into; rather they may introduce you to new careers that line up with some of your values, interests and passions. After you take a few, maybe there are some careers that show up on multiple lists.

From there, I recommend looking into these careers by searching job descriptions on websites like indeed.com; what sort of school requirements or certifications are required for these positions? Are there training programs and schools that offer these programs and certification nearby? Would you want to stay close to home or would you be interested in working elsewhere? Take a look at what kind of opportunities are available in the places you're interested in living and working one day. And ultimately, how do these descriptions line up with the kind of work I'd like to do day-to-day and with my interests and values.

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Sophia’s Answer

Hi Edwin,

You seem to be at an exciting time in your life where you can explore many different interest's and industries. I suggest making a list of hobbies or careers that seem interesting to you and seeking out professionals in those industries to get real life advice on what their jobs are like! You mentioned being interested in cars. I am sure that you can ask the career village community what mechanics do on a day-to-day basis, what their favorite part of their job is, how they got into that career, & etc..

Don’t be afraid to explore new topics, since you never know what might pique your interest. Good Luck!

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EJ’s Answer


So you're interested in mechanics, cars, and being a teacher?
It's good that you want to know more about your future career.
I would recommend to talk to people who are working in the field you're interested.
If you're interested in mechanical engineering or car, then ask around who's working in that field.
If you're interested in being a teacher, then talk to your teachers about that career.
Ask them about their job - what is their daily job, are they happy with their job, what is the biggest obstacles or challenge, what kind of credential need for the job, etc
Also having actual experience will be helpful to understand your future career.
Check with community center to see if they have teacher's aid position available for you.
Or check with your school if they can arrange shadowing people who works' in that field.
You'll be able to make a better decision when you know more about that career.

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Ana Karime’s Answer

Work for a company that you admire and see if you still like it

The student is looking for career options. Do you have any suggestions based on their interests? Gurpreet Lally

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Hector’s Answer

What would you like for you as a career? what type of job you would enjoy doing? That is the first and most important step to choose your career and your future. After that, will that option allow you to be able to make a living? I knew someone who wanted to be a pro photographer, but I explained that now a days that is not a career by itself, unless you are already connected to the field.
Also, do not pick a career for the money it makes only, first you need to like it, then all the benefits come along

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Mark’s Answer

Hi Edwin, if you are interested in cars you might want to look into the types of jobs available at the different auto manufacturers. You can do this by visiting the career section of these companies websites. You might want to visit a few different websites and see what type of jobs they are currently hiring for. Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Tesla, etc. Based on that, you can see what type of skills and degree requirements they have, and they may help guide you in how to build a good resume

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Lisa’s Answer

It is great that you're exploring your future. Seeing as you have taken a liking to cars, I would invest time into the various fields and their connections to cars. You should sit down and truly figure out what is it that has drawn to cars? Think about if you want to do the hands on mechanical working aspect of cars or you want to be more on the engineer side. Engineers are in charge of a broader aspect of the cars in terms of design and development, while mechanics focus on diagnoses and repair. Once you figure out which side of the pendulum you fall on you will be a step closer to narrowing your career path.