If you want to start a new career in automotive engineering, Illinois is home to six different schools that can help you get there. Two schools offer Associate’s degrees and all six schools have Bachelor’s degree programs. All six schools have Master’s degree programs and PhD programs. The overall average cost of tuition in Illinois is $12,800 per year.
In order to become a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois, you must earn at least a Bachelor’s degree in your field. Plan on attending school full-time for four years to get the required 120 credits. You take a variety of classes at this level, like Automotive Electronics, Vehicle Diagnostics, and Methods for Vehicle Testing.
Earning a Master’s degree or PhD can help you get more prestigious jobs with more stringent hiring requirements. A Master’s degree takes two years, while a PhD takes an average of seven years. Courses at this level may include Battery Systems & Control, Mechanical Vibrations, and Advanced Combustion.
At each degree level, you have to spend a considerable amount of time in the lab. Lab courses give you the practical experience you need to successfully work as an engineer.
Tuition rates in Illinois vary based on school choice and residency status. Southern Illinois University Carbondale is one of the most affordable schools in the state; tuition is $6,100 per semester for residents and $12,300 per semester for non-residents. Tuition at Northwestern University is considerably higher, at $30,080 per semester.
With the aid of scholarship and grants, you can reduce your financial obligations. Consider applying for some of the many scholarships funded by the Illinois Section of the ASCE. In addition, there are many school-specific scholarships you can apply for.
The next step to beginning your career as an automotive engineer is getting your Professional Engineer license from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. You have to pass the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam to get your license.
As you begin your career, consider the different ways you can make the most of your career. Joining the Illinois Society of Engineers can help you in many ways.
Many automotive engineers in Illinois earn very competitive salaries. O*Net reports that the average salary for an automotive engineer in Illinois is $80,900 per year.