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, employing 780,000 people, with 182,000 directly employed in the manufacturing sub sector.
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.
There have been significant increases in job posts in the past year, and all automotive occupations saw a 4-year record high in January 2023.
During the first quarter of 2023, UK education regulators (Ofqual, SQA, CCEA and Qualifications Wales) certified 3,345 skilled electric vehicle (EV) technicians, bringing the total to 42,400, representing 18% of all technicians in the UK.
The IMI predicts an increase in demand for EV technicians, with 107,000 required by 2023, rising to 139,000 by 2032.
The current median advertised salary in March 2023 for the following automotive occupations were: Vehicle Valets and Cleaners (£22,300); Vehicle and Parts Salespersons (£26,000); Tyre, Exhaust, and Windscreen Fitters (£26,000); Vehicle Body Builders and Repairers (£34,500); Vehicle Technicians (£35,000); and Vehicle Paint Technicians (£40,100).
Most young people join the industry by doing a Modern Apprenticeship, which involves on the job training and going to a college or training centre part time. There is now also the opportunity to start training at school with the Foundation Apprenticeship in Automotive.
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