With some hard work and studying, you can become an automotive engineer and be responsible for creating the newest technology in the automotive industry. There are four schools in Colorado that offer Bachelor's degrees, and three schools have Master's degree programs. The average cost of tuition in Colorado is $22,100 per year.
The most common degree pursued by automotive engineering students is a Bachelor's degree. This is a four-year degree that requires you to complete 120-130 credits. You can plan on taking a variety of theory and lab courses. You learn about different techniques and materials in courses like Automotive Systems, Alternate Fuel Systems, and Methods for Vehicle Testing. Many schools also have a lab component, which requires you to spend 10 or more hours per week in your school's engineering lab.
You may be able to earn a Master's degree or PhD after completing your Bachelor's degree. While a Master's degree only takes about two years, a PhD generally takes at least seven years. Some of the courses you may take at this level include Embedded Control Systems, Fuel Cells & Fuel Processors, and Battery Systems & Control.
Tuition rates vary considerably in Colorado, so it's important to analyze your options before selecting a school. One of the most affordable options in this state is Colorado State University-Pueblo, where tuition is approximately $3,200 per semester for residents and $8,100 per semester for non-residents. Tuition is slightly more expensive at Colorado School of Mines. Tuition is $8,200 per semester for residents and $16,200 per semester for non-residents.
Luckily, there are many school-wide and statewide scholarships you can apply for. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado awards over $30,000 in scholarships every year, with a top award of $6,000.
The final step to starting your career as an automotive engineer involves getting your license from the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations. This involves sitting for the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam, offered twice per year.
As you begin your career, consider joining the Colorado Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. As a member, you can learn about new job openings and attend networking events. Salaries vary widely between engineers, but O*Net reports that the average salary for an automotive engineer is $82,300 per year.