3 Things to Expect in a Career in the Automotive Industry
Whether you’re fresh out of school and looking to tackle the job market, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a career change, you could do much worse than the automotive industry. Particularly, if you have a passion for cars, this can be a great fit — although there is much more to automotive work than just looking under a hood and going to work. The industry is nearly future-proofed, as vehicles become more technologically advanced and shops and dealerships need workers with more varied skill sets. Positions of all kinds are also in high demand, and the following are just some of the biggest positives you can expect from a career in the automotive industry.
While it’s probably easy to just think of mechanics when considering automotive work, the industry is actually multi-faceted and provides some of the most varied job opportunities around. While you certainly can go through an automotive engineering program to become a technician or mechanic, there are plenty of jobs available at dealerships for salespeople.
The industry also offers managerial positions, administrative work, as well as opportunities in parts and services. There are even some “outside-of-the-box” job titles, such as paint technician, for those with other skill sets. With the right knowledge and a source for automobile leads, interested workers could even start their own automotive company. Though this may seem like a venture that needs a huge capital, there are ways to go about this without spending too much money. Vehicles can be sourced from an online auto auction that has a large inventory with different price points. By starting small, you can sell on your personal lot or one that belongs to a local seller. All you would need to do is offer to split the profits. The industry is so varied that each field will have a unique employee journey and different advancement requirements, but there is a place for nearly anyone.
This is likely to be one of the greatest concerns for anyone looking for new job opportunities, and the automotive industry is constantly advancing and becoming a more stable option. The 2008 recession saw layoffs across most industries, including automotive, but as vehicles become increasingly dependent on technology and the industry continues to evolve, positions are becoming more high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 percent growth for technicians and mechanics by 2026.
Demand for parts manufacturers is also on the rise, as increased customer confidence and interest in new vehicles in recent years means more cars are to be assembled. The automotive industry is now at the forefront of technological innovation, with companies sparing no expense in research and development. Working on vehicles today is much more complex than years past and therefore requires broader skills from workers. Many automotive companies are actually funding their own college courses at trade schools to meet their own demand for skilled employees. Cars of the future will present new challenges for front-of-house staff to improve on and incorporate new technologies while workshop employees will constantly adapt to new and improved equipment.
Rapid entry and competitive salaries
Another positive of the automotive industry is that it allows for relatively-quick entry. Many companies accept two year degrees from vocational schools that offer hands-on training, so aspiring mechanics and technicians are ready to take on the job as soon as they graduate. Sales positions may require previous experience when education is lacking, and managerial positions will likely provide both, but skills from many other industries are transferable. The top mechanical engineering companies should have no trouble connecting qualified candidates to rewarding job opportunities.
Salaries will vary based on the job, location, and level of experience, but the high-demand in the industry means that employees generally earn competitive wages. Automotive technicians on average earn $21.55 per hour, with collision technicians and more specialized positions typically earning a bit higher. The industry is a great way to start a career, and with a bright future ahead, advancement opportunities are plentiful.