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Electrical Engineering Vs. Automotive Engineering (Guide)

Electrical engineering and automotive engineering are two inter-related disciplines that can lead to promising careers. 

Choosing between these engineering majors can be challenging since they have striking similarities.

Automotive engineers design and develop vehicles, while electrical engineers design and develop electrical systems and electronics used in these vehicles.

This post explains the differences between electrical engineering and automotive engineering to help you decide which major to pursue.


Electrical EngineeringAutomotive Engineering
Average Pay$90,275$79,817
Ease of finding a jobGoodGood
Types of jobs you can qualify forControl Engineer
Project Engineer
Systems Engineer
Electronics Engineer
Electrical Designer
Electrical Technician
Substation Technician
Automotive Engineering Technician
Automotive Design Engineer
Automobile Designer
Auto Safety Engineer
Manufacturing Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
The difficulty of the majorHardHard
Key things to noteCan work in a wide range of fields

A lucrative career with high starting wages
Highly employable in the auto industry

Most government jobs require licensing 

What is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that studies electronics, electrical systems, electromagnetism, and the application of electricity.

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and maintain electrical systems and components. 

What is Automotive Engineering?

Automotive engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering that focuses on designing and developing motorcycles, trucks, passenger vehicles, and other automobiles.

Automotive engineers plan, design, and build cars and related components.

Jobs You Can Get with a Degree in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is one of the most lucrative careers. Electrical engineers can work in various fields while enjoying high salaries and perks.

Examples of jobs you can get with a degree in electrical engineering include:

  • Control Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Electrical Designer
  • Electrical Technician
  • Substation Technician

Learn more: Electrical Engineering Vs Mining Engineering

Jobs you can get with a degree in automotive engineering

Automotive engineering is a highly employable career. After all, vehicles are the primary mode of transport, meaning auto companies will continue producing new cars every day. 

Examples of jobs you can get with a degree in automotive engineering include:

  • Automotive Engineering Technician.
  • Automotive Design Engineer.
  • Automobile Designer.
  • Auto Safety Engineer.
  • Manufacturing Engineer.
  • Mechanical Engineer.

Classes You Will Be Taking in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is one of the toughest fields of study. Students must have a solid knowledge of math, physics, and other sciences and excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Classes you’ll be taking in electrical engineering include:

Classes You Will Be Taking in Automotive Engineering

Automotive engineering is a challenging but rewarding field of study. To become a successful automotive engineer, you require excellent data analysis skills, problem-solving skills, technical skills, and teamwork skills.

Students also require solid knowledge of math and physical sciences.

The classes you should expect to take in automotive engineering include:

  • Engineering mechanics.
  • Manufacturing Technology.
  • Mobility Design.
  • Automotive Materials.
  • Automotive Electrical and Electronics.
  • Computer-Aided Vehicle Design.
  • Vehicle Maintenance.
  • Electricity Mobility.
  • Thermodynamics.
  • Manufacturing Technology.

Can an Electrical Engineer Become an Automotive Engineer?

An electrical engineer can become an automotive engineer since the two fields are somewhat related.

They have striking similarities since today’s vehicles heavily rely on electrical systems and components. This makes it easy for electrical engineers to switch to automotive engineering.

Electrical engineers who aspire to become automotive engineers can undertake a Diploma or Master’s in Automotive Engineering and meet the accreditation requirements to qualify as automotive engineers.

Can an Electrical Engineer Work in the Automotive Industry?

Electrical engineers can work in the automotive industry and several other related fields. After all, modern cars consist of many electrical systems, components, and electronics.

Electrical engineers in the auto industry focus on designing and developing vital electrical systems and components used in today’s vehicles.

These include control systems, safety systems, electronics, infotainment systems, vehicle circuitry, and electrical distribution systems.

The may also be work from home opportunities for electrical engineers in the automotive and many other industries.

Is Automotive Engineering a Good Career?

Automotive engineering has the potential to lead to a promising and lucrative career. The satisfaction associated with the job is unexplainable, making automotive engineering a fulfilling profession.

Vehicles are the primary means of transport, and they won’t cease anytime soon, which means automotive engineers are here to stay. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, automotive engineers are in great demand, with job openings set to grow at 7% from 2020 to 2030. 

Do Automobile Companies Hire Electrical Engineers?

Automobile companies hire electrical engineers to handle the electrical domain of the vehicle manufacturing process.

All automobiles consist of electrical systems and components that require the expertise of electrical engineers.

Automobile companies need electrical engineers to deal with electronics, safety systems, infotainment systems, controls, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

With the world shifting towards electric cars, electrical engineers will become more important than ever in realizing this dream.

What Does an Automotive Electrical Engineer Do?

Automotive electrical engineers concentrate on the electrical domain of automobiles. They design and develop electronics, electrical systems, and components used in vehicles.

Modern vehicles consist of a lot of electrical parts and electronics. Designing and developing these components requires the expertise of automotive electrical engineers.

Other roles of automotive electrical engineers include:

  • Researching new electrical systems.
  • Predicting component behavior.
  • Testing safety systems.
  • Investigating product failures.
  • Supervising technical staff.
  • Working with other engineers.

Also read: Electrical engineering vs. industrial engineering

Is Automotive Engineering Tough?

Like any engineering discipline, automotive engineering is a tough field of study. Students require long hours of study, research, and practice to grasp the principles of automotive engineering, pass their exams, and become engineers.

What makes automotive engineering a challenging career is its multidisciplinary approach. The major combines elements of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering.

Students also require excellent problem-solving, technical, and data analysis skills.

Final Verdict

Like any other profession, choosing between electrical engineering and automotive engineering depends on your interests and passion. 

If you love electronics and cars, you can pursue a degree in electrical engineering and apply for a job in the auto industry.

Automobile companies require electrical engineers to handle the electrical domain of auto manufacturing.