There are many roles available in the automotive industry, from fleet managers to breakdown engineers, and you’re sure to find one that matches your skillset. Our guide takes you through some of the top roles in the industry and explains the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills for each. It also gives an idea of the salaries that employees take home for each role. If you’re interested in working in the automotive industry but aren’t quite sure what job is for you, this is a great place to start. Whether you’re interested in business, manufacturing, or even sales, find a role that suits you here.

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Car mechanic

What does a car mechanic do?

Car mechanics usually work for automotive manufacturers or for independent garages. They are required to carry out services and MOTs on vehicles. They also diagnose and repair any issues that arise with vehicles between services.

Responsibilities

  • Carrying out vehicle checks
  • Making any necessary repairs
  • Testing repairs
  • Carrying out MOTs
  • Carrying out vehicle services
  • Estimating time and cost of work
  • Maintaining vehicle records

Qualifications

To qualify for a role as a car mechanic you will need a Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair qualification at level 2. This is usually obtained through an apprenticeship. A good set of GCSEs and work experience will improve your career prospects.

Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Good problem solving skills
  • A good level of coordination
  • Communication skills
  • Technical ability and mindset

Average salaries*

A car mechanic will usually start on a salary of around £18,000 per annum. This could rise to around £35,000 in a senior role. For more details, see our full car mechanic job description or take a look at the current vacancies on InAutomotive.

 

Automotive electrician

What does an automotive electrician do?

Automotive electricians look after the electrical components of vehicles. They are responsible for diagnosing any faults, making repairs, or replacing broken parts if necessary. As the amount of electric and hybrid cars rises, the demand for electricians will also increase so the prospects for this career choice are positive.

Responsibilities

  • Diagnosing faults with testing equipment
  • Carrying out repairs
  • Replacing broken electrical parts
  • Testing repairs
  • Maintaining repair records
  • Estimating time and cost of work to be carried out

Qualifications

To become an automotive electrician, you will usually need to complete an apprenticeship. You could also take courses in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at college level to help strengthen your application for a job.

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • A good level of coordination
  • A technical way of thinking

Average salaries*

An automotive electrician might start their career on a salary between £15,000 and £18,500. This could rise to around £35,000 for a senior role. To see what opportunities are out there for automotive electricians, take a look at our current vacancies. To find out more about how to become an automotive electrician, read our full job description.

 

Breakdown engineer

What does a breakdown engineer do?

Breakdown engineers are on hand to help those who have broken down on the side of the road. They travel to where the vehicle has broken down and repair it on site if possible. In some cases, the vehicle will need to be towed to a garage to carry out the necessary repair.

Responsibilities

  • Travelling to broken down vehicles
  • Ensuring the safety of the passengers
  • Diagnosing the cause of the breakdown
  • Carrying out repairs on the roadside or at a garage
  • Keeping records of repairs

Qualifications

You will need a valid driving licence and a licence for the type of vehicle you will be repairing. The usual qualification route for this job is through an apprenticeship. You could also qualify through working as a mechanic or engineer at a garage.

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure
  • A good level of coordination
  • Computer skills

Average salaries*

Average salaries for breakdown engineers usually start at around £20,000 and can rise to around £40,000 in a senior role. To find out more, read our full breakdown engineer job description or browse our current vacancies.

 

Fleet manager

What does a fleet manager do?

Fleet managers are responsible for looking after the vehicles owned by an organisation. They look after the scheduling, maintenance, and the records of vehicles. They are also responsible for managing drivers.

Responsibilities

  • Organising schedules and budgets for the fleet
  • Purchasing the appropriate vehicles
  • Ensuring the vehicles are correctly maintained
  • Arranging insurance for the fleet
  • Managing client contracts
  • Managing drivers

Qualifications

There are no set qualifications for this role, however, experience in administration or logistics could help your prospects. Experience in a managerial role will help to prove that you are capable of organising a fleet. Qualifications such as degrees in marketing or business are valued by employers.

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Managerial skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Negotiating skills
  • A high level of organisation

Average salaries*

Salaries in fleet management usually start at around £19,000 and can rise to as much as £50,000 in a senior position with experience. To discover more about a career as a fleet manager, check out our more detailed job description. Alternatively, take a look at our current fleet manager vacancies.

 

Automotive sales

What does an automotive salesperson do?

An automotive salesperson is responsible for helping customers view, test drive, and ultimately buy a vehicle. They will usually work in a showroom, sometimes on a shift basis. They are also responsible for accompanying customers on test drives.

Responsibilities

  • Speaking with customers to understand what they need
  • Suggesting vehicles
  • Accompanying customers on test drives
  • Negotiating prices
  • Keeping the appropriate records for each sale

Qualifications

There are no set qualifications for this role and most dealerships will offer their own training when you start. More important are things like a good work ethic, customer service skills, and the ability to communicate well.

Skills

  • Negotiation skills
  • Communication skills
  • IT skills

Average salaries*

Car salespeople will generally earn commission for each sale they make. Base salaries can range from £12,000 – £40,000 depending on experience. These figures could be considerably higher with commission. Take a look at our automotive sales vacancies to see current opportunities or read our full automotive sales job description for further information.

 

Service advisor

What does a service advisor do?

Service advisors are the line of communication between the customer and the mechanic working on their vehicle. This is a customer service role and the main duty is to ensure that the quality of work meets the expectations of the customer.

Responsibilities

  • Taking bookings and answering questions from customers
  • Giving advice to customers on the servicing of their vehicle
  • Selling additional products to customers
  • Updating customer records and servicing details
  • Taking payment and explaining the cost of the work carried out

Qualifications

You will need GCSEs in English and Maths. Further education to college or even degree level would help you stand out to potential employers. Experience in a customer service role would be very valuable for this role.

Skills

  • Customer service skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Some ability as a sales person
  • Good organisation skills
  • The ability to explain technical details

Average salaries*

Salaries usually start at around £18,000 and can rise to £45,000 in senior positions. These roles often come with company benefits and performance-based bonuses. For more on what being a service advisor entails, read our full job description. To see where you could work, check out our current service advisor vacancies.

 

Vehicle fitter

What does a vehicle fitter do?

A vehicle fitter will replace or repair vehicle parts that are worn or have been damaged. This can involve working on vehicles from motorcycles to HGVs and typically involves working with batteries, tyres, and exhausts.

Responsibilities

  • Diagnosing issues with vehicles
  • Advising customers on the best course of action to repair their vehicle
  • Repairing parts
  • Replacing parts
  • Carrying out tests on the repairs that have been made

Qualifications

You could qualify for this role via an apprenticeship which will teach you all the skills you’ll need for the job. The company that offers you the apprenticeship may take you on after you have finished your training. There are also vocational qualifications that you could take at college level in courses relating to vehicle maintenance and repair.

Skills

  • Problem solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Logical way of thinking
  • Good coordination and level of general fitness

Average salaries*

Salaries for junior roles can start at around £15,000. Senior fitters can expect to earn in the region of £29,000. For more information on working as a vehicle fitter, see our job description or take a look at current vacancies.

 

Vehicle manufacturing worker

What does a vehicle manufacturing worker do?

A vehicle manufacturing worker will usually be responsible for part of the production line at a vehicle manufacturing factory. This can require a range of skills depending on what part of the line you’re working on.

Responsibilities

  • Preparing parts for the production line
  • Assembling parts prior to fitting to the vehicle
  • Fixing parts to the frame of the vehicle
  • Carrying out quality control checks
  • Paint spraying

Qualifications

You will need GCSEs in English and Maths and a vocational qualification at college level in a subject such as vehicle maintenance could help your application stand out to recruiters. Manufacturers will offer in-house training so previous experience is not necessary but could help to strengthen your application.

Skills

  • Good teamworking skills
  • Organisation
  • High level of accuracy
  • Good coordination

Average salaries*

Starting salaries for this role can be in the region of £11,000-£15,000. A senior vehicle manufacturing worker could earn £22,000 or more per annum. If you want to find out more about working in vehicle manufacturing, read our full job description or check out current vacancies on InAutomotive.

 

Paint sprayer

What does a paint sprayer do?

Paint sprayers are needed in the maintenance and repair of vehicles to repair chips and scratches to the bodywork of vehicles. While most cars are sprayed by machines when they are manufactured, customised cars are usually sprayed by hand.

Responsibilities

  • Preparing and mixing the paint
  • Preparing the bodywork of the vehicle to be sprayed
  • Applying several coats of paint and finishes to the body of a vehicle
  • Maintaining equipment and storing paints correctly
  • Maintaining stock levels of paint

Qualifications

You could qualify for this role through an apprenticeship. Alternatively, work experience could help your application stand out to recruiters. There are also courses in vehicle body and paint operations that can be taken at college level.

Skills

  • An eye for detail
  • Normal colour vision
  • Good level of coordination
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods

Average salaries*

Salaries usually start in the region of £14,000 – £17,000 per annum. This can rise to around £30,000 with experience. Interested in finding out more about working as a paint sprayer? Take a look at our full paint sprayer job description or take a look at current opportunities if you’re already qualified.

 

Panel beater

What does a panel beater do?

Panel beaters are responsible for repairing the bodywork of cars with dents or rust. They will use a variety of metalworking skills to repair rusted sections, remove dents, and finish bodywork to match the rest of the vehicle.

Responsibilities

  • Removing dents from a vehicle’s bodywork
  • Repairing rusted panels
  • Replacing any panels that are beyond repair
  • Finishing the repair to match the rest of the vehicle
  • Briefing paint sprayers
  • Maintaining records of the repairs carried out

Qualifications

You will need a minimum of GCSEs in English and Maths. There are apprenticeships available for this role, or you could take a vocational qualification in vehicle maintenance and repair at college level.

Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good coordination and level of general fitness
  • Good communication skills

Average salaries*

Starting salaries for this role usually start at about £15,000 per annum. As you gain experience and responsibility, you could earn up to £30,000. For more on working as a panel beater, check out our current vacancies or have a read of our full job description.

 

*Please note that all salaries are intended as a guide.

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