Do you enjoy working with your hands, and finding out how things work? Have you got a strong interest in motor vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to buses and trucks? If so, this career area might be the one for you.
The digitisation of automotive manufacturing has meant increased productivity and shorter time to market. Vehicles of all types are becoming more complex, with more onboard computers and internet access. So, diagnosing faults in vehicle computer networks and repairing electronic faults has become more important.
The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy and accounts for 14.4% of total UK exports. In 2020, this sector provided over 831,170 jobs, with over 18% of those created over the 2010 - 2020 period.
This career area includes jobs in:
To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.
Possible employers include:
You might be able to become a vehicle technician specialising in the repair and maintenance of vehicles used by emergency and rescue services, with organisations such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, airport fire and rescue services and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
There are also relevant opportunities in the Armed Services, particularly in the Army, for repairing and maintaining military vehicles, from light armoured vehicles to tanks.
According to the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry), the latest figures suggest that the jobs market has been recently broadly stable, with unemployment levels decreasing by 7.8% in the March/April 2021 period, but still 1.3% higher than in the previous year.
UK job postings for roles across the sector have been analysed to assess demand and seem to have mixed fortunes. Monthly job postings in April 2021 have been compared to those in April 2020 and show the following results:
Vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians – up to 13,600 from 10,631; Vehicle and parts sales persons – up to 3,557 from 3,441; Vehicle body builders and repairers – down to 953 from 1,110; Vehicle paint technicians – falling slightly from 288 to 282; Tyre, exhaust and windscreen fitters – up to 426 from 310; Vehicle valeters and cleaners – more than doubled to 665 from 328; Corporate managers and directors (any field) – up to 159,423 from 133,721; and Managers and directors in retail and wholesale – down to 11,385 from 11,795.
The Institute of the Motor Industry (The IMI) is the sector skills council for the motor trade. You will find useful information on their careers website Autocity.
Institute of Motor Industry