What Does A Vehicle Controls Engineer Do?

A vehicle controls engineer specializes in designing and developing automotive systems and solutions. They usually work at automotive manufacturing facilities where they spearhead projects, conduct research and analyses, gather and analyze data, study client and market feedback, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing systems to develop strategies that will optimize operations. Moreover, a vehicle controls engineer develops prototypes and test structures, coordinates with fellow experts, troubleshoots problems, set safety and efficiency guidelines, and manages staff while implementing company policies and regulations.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real vehicle controls engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage Jenkins security by providing specific access to authorize developers/testers using project base matrix authorization strategy.
  • Create the BOM for the brakes system (includes pedal box, callipers, rotors).
  • Perform NVH analysis on both vehicle suspension and exhaust systems.
  • Create test cases for CAE work and correlate results with physicaltesting.
  • Analyze and simulate suspension characteristics on MATLAB & CarSim for better ride performance.
  • Conduct thermal CAE analyses using RADTHERM and vehicle testing in support of design and development.
  • Provide field support for evaluating vehicle performances and NVH issues that enable quick customer resolution.
  • Develop & apply powertrain control system validation test methods, tools, and processes to ensure system functionality and robustness.
  • Design the components in AutoCAD 3D, CATIA and import the drawings into Hypermesh and Abaqus for simulating the components.
  • Evaluate performance benefits in comfort and rigid-body control make through hardware modifications.
Vehicle Controls Engineer Traits
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Mechanical skills
Mechanical skills refers to one's ability to work with specific machinery related to their industry.

Vehicle Controls Engineer Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, vehicle controls engineer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a vehicle controls engineer?" has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of vehicle controls engineer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 12,800.

Vehicle controls engineers average about $40.78 an hour, which makes the vehicle controls engineer annual salary $84,819. Additionally, vehicle controls engineers are known to earn anywhere from $56,000 to $126,000 a year. This means that the top-earning vehicle controls engineers make $70,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a vehicle controls engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an engineer, staff engineer, research engineer, and lead engineer.

Vehicle Controls Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Vehicle Controls Engineers are proficient in Hardware, Canalyzer, and Vehicle Dynamics. They’re also known for soft skills such as Creativity, Listening skills, and Mechanical skills.

We break down the percentage of Vehicle Controls Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Hardware, 13%

    Evaluate performance benefits in comfort and rigid-body control made through hardware modifications.

  • Canalyzer, 10%

    Conduct simulation tests using vector CANalyzer CAN communications and architecture, knowledge over CAN analyzer and vector tools.

  • Vehicle Dynamics, 10%

    Supported vehicle dynamics testing including raw data extraction and interpretation.

  • Control Systems, 9%

    Provided design and troubleshooting expertise on various electronic, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic control systems throughout two factories.

  • R, 9%

    Developed a data extract validation application utilizing R that incorporates XML files to dynamically generate SQL statements for data reconciliation.

  • Control Algorithms, 7%

    Calibrate vehicle systems, including control algorithms or other software systems.

"hardware," "canalyzer," and "vehicle dynamics" aren't the only skills we found vehicle controls engineers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of vehicle controls engineer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a vehicle controls engineer to have happens to be creativity. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that vehicle controls engineers can use creativity to "support and troubleshoot adobe acrobat, illustrator, photoshop, quark express, file maker pro and all other creative applications."
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform vehicle controls engineer duties is the following: listening skills. According to a vehicle controls engineer resume, "mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists." Check out this example of how vehicle controls engineers use listening skills: "conducted new cad/cae qa testing plans and troubleshot the defects and regressions to development and communicated with customers with feedbacks."
  • Mechanical skills is also an important skill for vehicle controls engineers to have. This example of how vehicle controls engineers use this skill comes from a vehicle controls engineer resume, "mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "perform independent design reviews (electrical & mechanical) for a wide variety of new construction projects."
  • In order for certain vehicle controls engineer responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "problem-solving skills." According to a vehicle controls engineer resume, "mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific principles and discoveries and use them to design and build useful products." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "provided field support for evaluating vehicle performances and nvh issues that enabled quick customer resolution."
  • As part of the vehicle controls engineer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "math skills." A vehicle controls engineer resume included this snippet: "mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "reproduce suspension systems in 3d via autodesk software, numerical analysis of linkage geometry in motion."
  • See the full list of vehicle controls engineer skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a vehicle controls engineer. We found that 32.3% of vehicle controls engineers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 51.0% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most vehicle controls engineers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every nine vehicle controls engineers were not college graduates.

    Those vehicle controls engineers who do attend college, typically earn either a mechanical engineering degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for vehicle controls engineers include a electrical engineering degree or a aerospace engineering degree.

    Once you're ready to become a vehicle controls engineer, you should explore the companies that typically hire vehicle controls engineers. According to vehicle controls engineer resumes that we searched through, vehicle controls engineers are hired the most by Polaris Industries, Ford Motor Company, and American Honda Motor Co. Currently, Polaris Industries has 4 vehicle controls engineer job openings, while there are 3 at Ford Motor Company and 2 at American Honda Motor Co.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, vehicle controls engineers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Technology Resources, Boeing, and Faraday Holdings. Take Technology Resources for example. The median vehicle controls engineer salary is $115,745. At Boeing, vehicle controls engineers earn an average of $113,109, while the average at Faraday Holdings is $94,433. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies. While Technology Resources has 0 job listings for vehicle controls engineers, Boeing and Faraday Holdings only have 1 and 0 job listings respectively.

    View more details on vehicle controls engineer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a vehicle controls engineer include IBM, Qualcomm, and Boeing. These three companies were found to hire the most vehicle controls engineers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious vehicle controls engineers are:

      What Engineers Do

      Engineers are highly trained professionals who determine the feasibility of various projects, usually related to the construction industry. They are considered experts in mathematics and science, two disciplines that they need to use in designing and coming up with plans for projects. They should also be well-versed in different construction or industrial materials, and they ensure that appropriate materials are used for the project. They also ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the groups that hired them. They create spaces that would both address the needs of the end-users and the industry standards. They also ensure that the projects they make would stand the test of time.

      In this section, we compare the average vehicle controls engineer annual salary with that of an engineer. Typically, engineers earn a $3,276 lower salary than vehicle controls engineers earn annually.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between vehicle controls engineers and engineers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like hardware, control systems, and r.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a vehicle controls engineer responsibilities require skills like "canalyzer," "vehicle dynamics," "control algorithms," and "dvp." Meanwhile a typical engineer has skills in areas such as "python," "cloud," "c++," and "c #." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Engineers tend to make the most money in the technology industry by averaging a salary of $94,633. In contrast, vehicle controls engineers make the biggest average salary of $83,476 in the automotive industry.

      On average, engineers reach lower levels of education than vehicle controls engineers. Engineers are 27.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Staff Engineer?

      Staff engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and inspecting various products, equipment, or structures. These professionals may perform varied duties depending on their specialization that includes overseeing the design and construction of buildings, bridges, sewer systems, and other infrastructure, estimating the financial costs of construction projects, and ensuring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations. Other duties include designing and developing machinery, tools, and engines, solving design problems, and building the manufacturing equipment needed to create their products.

      Now we're going to look at the staff engineer profession. On average, staff engineers earn a $5,451 higher salary than vehicle controls engineers a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Vehicle controls engineers and staff engineers both include similar skills like "hardware," "control systems," and "r" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, vehicle controls engineer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "canalyzer," "vehicle dynamics," "control algorithms," and "dvp." Meanwhile, a staff engineer might be skilled in areas such as "python," "architecture," "java," and "curiosity." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, staff engineers earn a higher salary than vehicle controls engineers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, staff engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $107,575. Whereas, vehicle controls engineers have higher paychecks in the automotive industry where they earn an average of $83,476.

      In general, staff engineers study at lower levels of education than vehicle controls engineers. They're 21.2% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Research Engineer Compares

      Research Engineers are responsible for a wide range of duties, including researching and developing new technologies and prototypes, and finding solutions to improve techniques, procedures, and technologies.

      The research engineer profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of vehicle controls engineers. The difference in salaries is research engineers making $4,469 higher than vehicle controls engineers.

      Using vehicle controls engineers and research engineers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "hardware," "control systems," and "r," but the other skills required are very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a vehicle controls engineer is likely to be skilled in "canalyzer," "vehicle dynamics," "control algorithms," and "dvp," while a typical research engineer is skilled in "python," "c #," "research projects," and "c++."

      Research engineers make a very good living in the telecommunication industry with an average annual salary of $113,345. Whereas vehicle controls engineers are paid the highest salary in the automotive industry with the average being $83,476.

      Research engineers are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to vehicle controls engineers. Additionally, they're 12.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 20.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Lead Engineer

      A lead engineer's duties vary on their line of work or industry of employment. Typically, their responsibilities will revolve around overseeing the progress of operations and performance of the workforce, ensuring that everything is running smoothly. They are also responsible for addressing issues and concerns, assessing risks, monitoring the budget, coordinating with clients and architects, and even training workers. Furthermore, as a lead engineer, it is crucial to conduct regular inspections to ensure the quality of work and maintain a safe environment for all workers.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than vehicle controls engineers. On average, lead engineers earn a difference of $12,325 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, vehicle controls engineers and lead engineers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "hardware," "control systems," and "r."

      Each job requires different skills like "canalyzer," "vehicle dynamics," "control algorithms," and "dvp," which might show up on a vehicle controls engineer resume. Whereas lead engineer might include skills like "python," "architecture," "java," and "c++."

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The automotive industry tends to pay more for lead engineers with an average of $104,607. While the highest vehicle controls engineer annual salary comes from the automotive industry.

      The average resume of lead engineers showed that they earn lower levels of education to vehicle controls engineers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 20.9% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 1.8%.