There’s never been a better time to start a career in the field of automotive engineering. Kentucky is home to four schools with this program, all of which award Associate’s degrees and Bachelor’s degrees. In addition, all four of these schools have Master’s degree programs and PhD programs. The average cost of tuition in Kentucky is $8,600 per year.
When you become an automotive engineer, you may be expected to build or design vehicle or vehicle parts. As a result, you need a healthy mix of theoretical and hands-on learning. A Bachelor’s degree, which is the lowest degree accepted for licensure, takes about four years to earn. You will complete 120 or more credits in courses like Automotive Design, Vehicle Diagnostics, and Materials for Automotive Applications. Many of these courses include a lab component in which you work directly with engineering materials and tools.
A Master’s degree or PhD can help you take your career to the next level and set you up for a career in research. These degrees require, respectively, two and seven years of full-time study. Your school may expect you to complete higher-level courses like Embedded Control Systems, Advanced Combustion, and Power Electronics.
With so many public colleges and universities, Kentucky can be a very affordable state for engineering students. On the low end of the scale, Morehead State University costs $3,749 per semester for residents and $9,373 for non-residents. Tuition at Western Kentucky University is higher than most other schools. Residents pay $4,236 per year and non-residents pay $10,500 per semester.
There are several engineering organizations and companies that fund engineering scholarships. The Northern Kentucky Chapter of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers awards scholarships of $8,000 every year. Winners receive $2,000 per year for four years.
While you are preparing to begin your career as an automotive engineer, look into joining a local group like the Kentucky Engineering Center. This group gives you networking opportunities and ongoing education seminars.
Before you can work as a Professional Engineer in Kentucky, you must get your license from the Kentucky Board of Engineers & Land Surveyors. You can get your license after passing the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam.
Salaries in this field vary based on experience. However, O*Net reports that the average salary is $75,200 per year.