If you're excited to start a career in the exciting, hands-on field of automotive engineering, there are two schools in Arkansas that can help you get started. Both of these schools have Bachelor's degree programs and Master's degree programs. The average cost of tuition is just over $5,500 per semester.
The first step to becoming an automotive engineer involves earning a Bachelor's degree. There are many different courses required at this level; you'll need to complete at least 120 credits, which may take you between four and five years. Some of the classes you may have to take as a Bachelor's degree student include Vehicle Lightweight Design, Fuel Management Systems, and Alternate Fuel Systems.
If you already have a Bachelor's degree in automotive engineering or a related field, you may want to look into earning a Master's degree in the field. This degree requires you to complete 30 credits over the course of two years. Some of the classes you may take include Fuel Cells & Fuel Processors, Mechanical Vibrations, and Vehicle Dynamics.
Arkansas has many affordable schools that you can consider. At Arkansas State University, tuition is $3,755 per semester for residents and $6,560 per semester for non-residents. At the University of Arkansas, tuition is slightly less expensive for residents and slightly more expensive for non-residents. Residents can expect to pay about $3,200 per semester and non-residents can expect to pay about $8,800 per semester.
There are many scholarships offered to engineering students in Arkansas. You can look through the list of scholarships awarded by the Arkansas Community Foundation, including the Auto Services Scholarship Endowment and the Goins Brothers Memorial Mechanical Arts Scholarship Endowment.
Before you can legally work as a Professional Engineer in Arkansas, you must get your license from the Arkansas State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. At that point, you can begin your career as an automotive engineer.
You may work for a variety of automobile manufacturers, dealerships, and engineering firms. O*Net reports an anticipated 5% increase in job openings for automotive engineers between 2010 and 2020. They note that the average salary for an automotive engineer is $68,700 per year (O*Net, 2012).