U.S. Job Market for Autonomous-Vehicle Engineers Flattens, But Job Seekers Still Have the Edge

Image of a hand holding a car
Illustration: iStock

By: Tekla S. Perry

The availability of U.S. jobs for developers, engineers, and other tech professionals with autonomous-vehicle expertise grew 833 percent in the past four years, according to job search site Indeed. The boom in job openings in the robocar industry far outpaced the growth in the number of searches for such jobs, which climbed 450 percent during the same period. Indeed considered autonomous-vehicle tech job postings as a share of all job postings in calculating these numbers. And in spite of a 19 percent dip in that share of job postings over the past year, it’s still a good time to be looking for a job involving autonomous-vehicle technology.

The automakers haven’t been leading the current hiring push, according to Indeed’s stats. Tech developer and component supplier Aptiv had the highest share of job postings for autonomous-vehicle developers over the past year (1 August 2018 to 1 August 2019), followed by chipmaker Nvidia. Chinese car manufacturer SAIC was number three, even though Indeed’s study looked at SAIC’s listing for U.S.-based positions only.

Companies with the highest share of postings, among all autonomous-vehicle job postings

 Rank

 Company

 Share of U.S.  Autonomous-Vehicle Job   Openings, by Percentage

 1

 Aptiv

 21.7

 2

 Nvidia

 5.0

 3

 SAIC   Innovation Center

 4.8

 4

 Bosch

 4.3

 5

 Daimler AG

 3.4

 6

 Cruise Automation

 3.3

 7

 General Motors

 2.5

Where are these jobs? Mostly in the Bay Area. Silicon Valley (defined here as San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara) had 31.8 percent of all U.S. autonomous-vehicle job postings. Add in San Francisco, the home base of Cruise Automationwith 9.4 percent, and the region posted 41.2 percent of job openings, outranking the next four regions and then some.

Where are the autonomous-vehicle tech jobs?

 Rank

 Metro

 Share of U.S.   Autonomous-Vehicle  Job Openings, by   Percentage

 1

 San Jose-Sunnyvale-   Santa Clara, Calif.

 31.8

 2

 Pittsburgh, Pa.

 14.9

 3

 Detroit-Warren-   Dearborn, Mich.

 16.4

 4

 San Francisco-   Oakland-Hayward,   Calif.

 9.4

 5

 Portland-Vancouver-   Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.

 2.8

 6

 Boston-Cambridge-   Newton, Mass.-N.H.

 2.6

This article originally appeared in IEEE Spectrum on 25 September 2019.