How many different jobs can you name in the automotive industry? You can probably come up with at least auto mechanics, car service technicians, and car salespeople. But a car is a very sophisticated piece of equipment, and there are actually a larger variety of jobs in this industry than you might expect. Earning a diploma or degree from a vocational program or a technical school can open up doors in all aspects of the industry. Over a series of two posts, we will explore top jobs for graduates of automotive schools.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
This is the number one career track for students who graduate from automotive schools. These are the people who fix cars in dealerships, private garages, and service shops that provide specialized services for mufflers, brakes, and other car parts. Automotive service technicians and mechanics use diagnostic equipment to test car parts and systems and identify mechanical problems. They perform standard maintenance, like oil changes, as well as repair and replace parts. For larger jobs, they may disassemble and reassemble entire engines. Workers in this field make about $36,000 a year, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings in this field to grow at about 17 percent, which is about as fast as all occupations.
Automotive Body and Glass Repairers
While automotive service technicians and mechanics work on engines and other automotive systems, body and glass repairers work on the outside surfaces of the vehicle following collisions. They remove and repair body damage and structural damage, weld replacement parts, install new windows and windshields, and refinish repaired surfaces. It takes about one year to become a fully qualified automotive body and glass repairer. These workers make more than $37,000 a year, and growth in this field is expected to be close to 20 percent over the next few years.
Painting and Coating Workers
Painting and coating workers are the people who paint cars. In the automotive industry, this ranges from the standard paint jobs applied to most cars to the fancy flames and other decorative work many people have done to adorn their vehicles. Transportation equipment painters may work for car manufacturers painting new cars or for repair shops painting vehicles that have been refurbished or repaired. Becoming a certified automotive painter requires two years of experience and passing a written exam. These workers make almost $40,000 a year, starting out with an hourly wage and then moving to commission as they become more experienced.
In this post, we’ve looked at three of the main jobs in the automotive service industry. None of these occupations probably came as a surprise, as these jobs are the main reasons most people enroll in an automotive school! In the next post, we’ll look at some jobs in related industries.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automotive service technicians and mechanics. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automotive body and glass repairers. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Painting and coating workers. Occupational Outlook Handbook.