Application Engineer on phone

Sales/Applications Engineer Job

AEHQ Automotive Career Choices Leave a Comment

The ads on the radio and TV are constantly there bombarding us with their end of year or holiday car sales all promising great deals on the automobiles that they insist we all must have.  Each sales pitch promises great features on vehicles that we all must be dying to own and drive and seem to assume our existing vehicle is subpar.  Every ad and deal promises more and more features plus the promise to provide a deal that will beat every other sale available from other dealers.  Each dealer is in constant competition trying to tell the customers what they want and get the next sale for themselves.  Behind the scenes of the constant bombardment customer receives, though, is an entire field of engineering that tries to define just what the end customer is going to want in an automobile.  The role of the sales engineer is to work with all levels up and down the supply chain from the subcomponents all the way to the dealers that sell vehicles to the end customer and clearly define all the features and specifications of each vehicle being manufactured.

Identifying end customer desired features

Recently, the latest feature to become available in automobiles is Wi-Fi internet access which allows passengers in vehicles to access the internet while they are driving.  This was the next logical step in entertainment while driving with individual viewing screens, headsets and other entertainment features already commonplace in the vehicles we drive.  But this feature didn’t become available overnight.  Sales engineers look at trends and technology that customers demand and then incorporate that into their next generation products to try and sell the automobiles that people are looking for in each market.

Sales engineers will look at technology trends within each market segment and then work with design engineers to design these features into the automobile.  For example, there is a growing concern for vehicles that are more economical to drive and own so customers are looking for more fuel economy in the vehicles that they purchase or for alternative fuel vehicles.  Sales engineers work with design engineers to specify a target fuel consumption specification and use alternative fuel, electric and other operation techniques to meet these targets while not sacrificing performance.  Or consider the recently available Wi-Fi feature on some automobiles.  Many customers have families that they must drive around and having Wi-Fi allows another means to entertain children (and even adult) passengers on longer trips.  Sales engineers identified this trend and worked to incorporate this feature into the automobiles.

Becoming a sales or application engineer

If designing the next generation of technology that will go into the automobile sounds like something you are interested in doing then here are the basics that you will need to move into this career.  First and foremost is earning a degree in an engineering field.  You will have considerable flexibility in choosing your engineering specialty since sales engineers work at all levels of the automobile design from the subcomponents to the end vehicle design.  When you choose your specialty just consider what area you are most interested in working within such as electrical engineering if you want to work on designing next generation electronic features.

To earn an engineering degree you will need to apply to a college or university that has the degree you are most interested in obtaining.  The acceptance requirements for a degree are very similar from university to university and include a strong foundation in math, science, chemistry and physics while you are in high school or secondary school.  In addition to these scholastic requirements colleges will look at how you have spent your time and balanced your life while you were in school.  Universities prefer to accept students who are active in the community and lead well-balanced lives while in high school so make sure to get involved in outside activities while you are in high school.  These activities could include church youth groups, national honor society or even sports just get involved in more than just your daily classes.

Working in the sales engineering field is a great way to bring next generation technology to the automotive market, so if you like working on the cutting edge of technology then consider this career path.  You will always be at the forefront working with design engineers to provide the features and capabilities that customers are looking for in their automobiles.

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