Are you considering a career in automotive? It’s one of the best decisions you can make. Industry estimates put the automotive industry’s value at $257 billion. Not only does this make it one of the biggest industries but also one of the most stable. Therefore, career opportunities in this field are lucrative as well as long-lasting.
Automobile mechanics repair cars, fix engines, and tune trucks in automobile repair shops, gas stations, and garages. Besides these, it’s even more exciting to get into the industry with the emergence of hybrid and electric cars. Yet how does one get a job in this field? Here are tips for getting your automotive career off to a good start.
Do Your Homework
A mechanic’s job requires a great deal of physical effort. Moreover, they must constantly learn new technologies and improve their skills. Here are some things you can do before you commit to the vocation:
- Read up: You can read popular magazines like Car and Driver and publications aimed at technicians, such as Auto Service Professional. Look through automotive service manuals and read them entirely. Take a moment to review these technical details and see if you can remember them.
- Practice: You would have an advantage if you grew up repairing cars. Otherwise, you can practice with your vehicle.
- Help out: Consider local repair shops or used car dealerships in Maryland. See if they will allow you to do some work without education or certification. You might begin by cleaning, vacuuming, and washing cars. It will enable you to observe the job environment and speak to professionals.
Learn About the Diverse Roles in the Automotive Industry
Automobiles require expert planning, engineering, and designing. This project will have involved hundreds, if not thousands, of professionals. Although you often need qualifications for these technical jobs, they can be very rewarding. Therefore, you should research and learn about the roles before applying.
However, there may be more straightforward entry points for other automotive careers. For instance, car salesperson jobs usually require no prior experience, as they provide training on the job.
Here are some examples of automotive manufacturing titles:
- Quality Controller
- Injection Molder
- Forklift Driver
Each role has its own set of barriers to entry. There are many entry-level opportunities in manufacturing, and getting into them is not too difficult. Opportunities like these can certainly go a long way toward reshaping or changing your career in the automotive industry.
To start a career in automotive, you will need formal education and in-depth training. Many dealerships are experiencing a shortage of skilled technicians, so getting the proper training is essential. Here are some recommendations:
- Get a high school diploma: Auto mechanics often have a high school diploma, even if they didn’t gain an education. You’ll have an easier time climbing the career ladder once you graduate from high school.
- Earn certification or vocational degree: Taking a vocational or certificate program, such as post-secondary education, will set you up for success. You will learn about vehicles’ basic systems and functions and get hands-on experience and lecture-style instruction. These classes might also teach air conditioning, heating, suspensions, transmissions, and brakes.
- Get an associate’s degree for a full-fledged education: Another option is to earn an associate’s degree in a relevant field. It will teach you both inside and outside the classroom like certificate programs. A certificate may take a little longer to get and may cost more. But with a college degree, you may get a job more quickly and learn about much more than vehicles.
Find An Entry-Level Job Offering Employer Training
Before hiring a full-time auto mechanic, most employers require a minimum number of hours. Considering you have no training, you have to work several years to pay below the industry standard before the company finds you for more technical duties.
However, graduates of an auto mechanic program will have hundreds of hours of practical experience they can use to skip lower-level jobs. Besides shadowing a lead technician or working as an assistant, they can gain on-the-job experience to qualify them for more technical positions.
Develop Essential Skills
An excellent mechanic is like a friend to you, but a great mechanic is like a family member. Bringing specific qualities into your career can help distinguish between good and great, and you are likely to learn many of them during your training. Consider these five qualities to become a successful automotive technician:
- Customer-service skills: Service technicians need to explain how to fix automotive problem to their customers. As workers depend on repeat customers, they must be courteous, listen well, and be ready to answer questions from customers.
- Mechanical skills: Technicians need to understand engine components and systems and how they interact. Often, they must disassemble significant parts to repair them and reassemble them correctly.
- Troubleshooting skills: Diagnosing and fixing problems in increasingly complicated mechanical and electronic systems requires technicians to use diagnostic equipment. A technician must understand electronic control systems and be familiar with the tools used to repair and maintain them.
A career in automotive is lucrative. It has various job titles to consider if you’re interested. If you’re thinking of becoming an automotive engineer or any other automotive career opportunities, the above will give you steps to success.