The automotive industry is one of the biggest in the entire world. Under its umbrella are a slew of jobs that employ a wide variety of people ranging from mechanics to designers. Whether you’re a grease monkey or a salesman, odds are there’s an automotive job that suits you.
Depending on your particular background, there are many options to choose from, but if you need a little guidance, here are some of the best jobs the industry has to offer:
If you’re looking for a high paying position that lets you get your hands a little dirty, vehicle manufacturing is the one for you. Known as one of the most lucrative automotive professions, manufacturers have an extensive list of responsibilities, including the production of entire vehicles, as well as the production of individual parts.
- Vehicles manufacturers make anywhere from $15 to $35 an hour depending on their education, level of expertise and company they work for.
- Manufacturers typically spend their work week in company factories, assembling cars and car parts and maintaining quality control.
- Although lucrative, physical hazards such as excessive heat, repetitive movements and fumes come with the factory territory.
“The automotive industry, comprising manufacturing and retail trade, employs roughly 4.2 million people in the U.S. alone, according to a June 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. And when you consider that there are over 250 million cars on U.S. roads, let’s just say there’s a demand for skilled workers to care for all those cars.” – monster.com
Automotive engineers don’t turn quite as many wrenches as manufacturers and technicians, but their job in the industry is invaluable. Equipped with a strong knowledge of aerodynamics and design, engineers are responsible for improving performance for both cars and specific parts. When it comes to increased fuel-efficiency and passenger safety, engineers are the people to call.
- Most automotive engineers, depending on the company they work for, have been known to make over $80k a year.
- Automotive engineers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering prior to being hired. Having experience with fluid mechanics, fuel technology and thermodynamics is also helpful.
- Successful engineers are detail-oriented, critical thinkers and are able to work well with a team.
The primary role of the body repair specialist is to repair automobile exteriors. If the outside of a vehicle is damaged in an accident or is otherwise compromised, it is the auto body crew’s job to repair it and get it back on the road as soon as possible. This job is definitely for someone that loves the hands-on approach and has a background in maintenance.
- The average body repair specialist makes around $18 an hour, although some have been known to make more depending on how long they’ve been in the field.
- Only a high school diploma is required to work in body repair, but, if you’re interested in moving up, an associate’s degree is recommended.
- Much like vehicle manufacturers, body repairers are often exposed to heat, excessive noise, and sharp tools.
The automotive industry isn’t only concerned with what goes on under the hood; it also employs countless drivers around the world. If you’re more of an open road person, or in some cases, a bit of a speed demon, professional driving might be the gig for you. It’s a little more competitive than other parts of the industry, but it’s also one of the most exciting.
- Although often underappreciated, truck driver jobs are some of the best automotive jobs around. Not only do truckers get to enjoy life on the open road, they also make close to $80k a year.
- If trucking isn’t your thing, driving commercial vehicles such as school buses, cement trucks, dump trucks, and tankers are all lucrative options.
- For all the adrenaline junkies out there, racecar driving is one of the most thrilling professions ever. It’s extremely hard to get into, but for the potential earnings and fame, it’s sure worth a shot.
As you can see, the automotive industry is ripe with challenging and fulfilling careers. Whether you’re a gearhead or a glory hog, you’re likely to find a job that’s right for you. Many of these professions require extensive training, and sometimes some serious guts, but, if you put in the work, you’ll land a job that you can be proud of.