If you or someone you know is interested in working in the automotive industry, there are a lot of different opportunities out there. Like any occupation, the positions are getting more and more specialized.
Collision repair techs repair crashed vehicles, including parts replacement, welding, panel repair, sanding and light frame repair.
Refinish techs refinish vehicles either damaged in a collision or during restoration work. Experienced techs should be able to mix their own paint, match and blend colors and wet sand and polish.
Diagnostic techs are the computer geeks of the auto world. If you have a check engine light on these are the guys to figure it out. They need to have strong electronic and diagnostic backgrounds to be able to interpret the computer data to repair the problem.
Undercar mechanics usually specialize in brakes, exhaust, suspension and alignments. These guys are willing to get down and dirty to get you back on the road.
Auto lube techs usually work at quick oil change shops or dealerships. While this can sometimes be an entry level position, these techs do need automotive skills to do the job right.
Service writers and managers write up customer repair orders when they drop their vehicle off. They maintain customer records and update the customers during repairs such as brakes, tires, diagnostics and other service work.
Body shop estimators and managers work in a collision repair shop and have job duties such as writing estimates, production manager and liaison between the insurance companies and the customers.
Installing sound systems, remote starters and car alarms can be a great job for someone who likes the latest in electronics.
Detailers clean, polish and recondition interiors and exteriors of vehicles. Of course you need to be “detail” oriented to be able to do this type of work and have a wide knowledge of cleaners, polishing compounds and sealants.
Replacing and balancing tires has even become more of a specialty. With low profile tires and pressure monitoring systems being on newer vehicles, these techs must know how to mount and balance tires correctly without damaging rims and sensors.
As you can see, there are a lot of different careers available in the automotive business. If you know a youth that’s interested in this sort of work, I would encourage you to look into high school classes related to automotive repairs and vocational colleges with automotive programs. And remind them to pay attention while they are still in high school, because they will need all of that reading, writing and arithmetic.