A career in automotive engineering can be a great way to earn a lucrative salary and learn about some of the newest automotive technology. There are 11 schools in California that offer automotive engineering degrees. All 11 schools have Bachelor's-level programs and 10 schools have Master's degree programs. The average cost of tuition in California is $10,400 per semester.
If you want to become licensed as an automotive engineer, you'll need to earn a Bachelor's degree in the field. Attending school full-time, you can plan on earning the required 120 credits over the course of four to five years. You may take many different theory courses like Automotive Systems, Vehicle Diagnostics, and Kinematics of Mechanisms. Of course, you will also have to spend quite a bit of time in your school's engineering lab. During your lab time, you can learn about how materials work and how to build vehicles.
You can earn a Master's degree if you want to be qualified for higher-level positions in the engineering field. In addition to basic engineering courses, you may take classes like Embedded Control Systems, Battery Systems & Control, and Automotive Body Structures.
With so many schools in California, it's clear that there are many different tuition costs. California State University-Chico is one of the most affordable schools in the area; tuition is $3,486 per semester for residents and $9,066 per semester for non-residents. The University of the Pacific is one of the most expensive schools in the state, with a tuition rate of $19,645 per semester.
California is home to many different scholarship programs that can help you off-set the cost of your education. The Automotive Service Councils of California awards scholarships of $500 to $1,000.
There are several licensing requirements in place for California engineers. All licensing of engineers goes through the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. After paying a $125 application fee, you can take the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam and get your license.
The field of engineering is growing rapidly in California; Sys-Con Media reports on a statewide movement to increase funding to engineering programs all over the state. As a result, O*Net reports an expected 10% increase in demand between 2010 and 2020. O*Net indicates that the average salary for an automotive engineer is $91,100 per year.