International Study: Mixed Salary Gains for Auto Engineers


DETROIT — Employment prospects and salaries have improved for the majority of automotive engineers since the end of the global recessions, according to the 2012 SAE International Salary Study. The study also showed that where one works impacts on whether a salary increased or decreased.

“This type of information provides valuable insight for automotive engineers already working in the profession, as well as those preparing to enter the workforce,” Martha Schanno, Recruitment Sales Manager, SAE International, said. “SAE International is pleased to make this data available not just to our members, but to all automotive engineering professionals around the world.”

The majority of engineers in both the U.S. and elsewhere fall into the salary category between $100,000 and $124,999. Around the world, the mean salary of those who work in automotive engineering and related technical positions increased by a mean average of 3.4% in 2011, compared to an increase of 2.4% in 2010. In the U.S., the mean base salary for automotive engineers increased from $96,100 in 2010 to $103,400 in 2012, an improvement of 7.6%.

The study also shows that mobility professionals who are SAE International members in the U.S. make more on average than nonmembers ($102,300 vs. $101,500). Female mobility professionals who are SAE International members working outside the U.S. make more than their nonmember associates ($86,500 vs. $85,500). Female mobility professionals in the U.S. continue to close the compensation gap with their male counterparts, with their mean salary increasing from $80,500 in 2010 to $91,600 in 2012.

SAE International’s Automotive Engineering International magazine published a more detailed article on the results of the salary study, available at

The 2012 SAE International Salary Study is the only survey of its kind to explore levels and changes in compensation and employment for technical employees in the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle industries. This second biannual study is based on an email survey issued to 55,000 mobility engineers and related technical employees around the world. The full report and an online interactive salary calculator can be accessed for free at  

SAE International is a global association of more than 134,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International’s core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International’s charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

– –