October 13, 2011
Workers from a variety of educational and employment backgrounds are employed in the electric vehicle industry. Most of these occupations require specialized training or work experience in electric vehicle manufacturing and maintenance.
Workers who design and develop electric automobile technology include engineers, engineering technicians, and drafters; software developers; and industrial designers. Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Engineers are responsible for evaluating a design's effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety.
Manufacturing electric vehicles is a complex process that requires a large, skilled workforce. Many of the workers involved in the manufacture of electric vehicles have previously worked in traditional vehicle manufacturing. Finished vehicles are manufactured by a few large auto companies, but many of the vehicles' parts are made by smaller companies that specialize in individual components.
Employment growth is expected in most occupations in the electric vehicle industry in the next few years, according to a study by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley. New types of automobile manufacturing jobs will be created; however, many of these jobs will be filled by current manufacturing employees or those that were displaced by recent downsizing of the automobile manufacturing industry.
Wage data in this article are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For more information, see "Careers in Electric Vehicles" by James Hamilton, part of a BLS series of Green Career Information articles. BLS does not currently publish wage data specifically for electric vehicle occupations; the wage data shown represent the larger industry or industry group that would employ electric vehicle workers.