I-Hub Blog

Automotive Career Paths That May Surprise You

Jul 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM / by Tony Molla

This blog is the second installment in Tony Molla’s three-part series highlighting the abundance and diversity of opportunities offered by careers in the transportation industry. Read the First Installment here.

Mike Rowe has it right: job growth in STEM careers looks strong into the foreseeable future. That’s particularly true in the automotive service and repair industry. The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that the automotive repair and maintenance sectors are expected to add 237,500 new jobs and have a higher than average growth rate through 2020. Much of this demand is due to the generational shift from large numbers of baby boomers entering retirement, making automotive technicians one of the top jobs with relatively high median earnings and the potential for significant job openings over the next decade. So, what kind of work is out there?

“Countless automotive aftermarket executives got their start turning wrenches, though 

nowadays the tool of choice is just as likely to be a diagnostic computer and monitor.”

Automotive Career Paths That May Surprise YouThe jobs run the gamut from line technician to service consultant, service director, or automotive parts and service business owner. There are many diverse opportunities in parts counterpersons, parts distribution and wholesaling; collision repair, painting, and damage estimating; vehicle maintenance, repair, and performance upgrades and custom, restoration and motorsports. There are additional personnel needs in technical training areas for many organizations, or in management at the local, regional and corporate level for national franchises, vehicle manufacturers, and private and municipal fleets. There are instructor positions with high schools and community colleges, as well as private schools, and still other technicians find themselves moving into sales, marketing, and business management, where their technical knowledge is a valuable edge in knowing both the customer and the products. Countless automotive aftermarket executives got their start turning wrenches, though nowadays the tool of choice is just as likely to be a diagnostic computer and monitor. As you can see, there is no shortage of career paths in the automotive sector. Next time, we’ll take a look at how a technical career can be a gateway to many career paths you might never imagine.

“So many people have started their careers in the automotive aftermarket

as an auto technician that it is viewed as something of a portal career.”

In fact, so many people have started their careers in the automotive aftermarket as an auto technician that it is viewed as something of a portal career. For those whose true calling is in the service bay, it’s far from a dead-end career. Top-notch technicians well versed in computer diagnostics and the latest engine performance and drivability solutions can and do command top-dollar salaries. Pride in work, technical savvy, and craftsmanship are rewarded.

So if your child prefers to get out into the real world and make his or her mark, consider a career in automotive technology. Ask your child’s guidance counselor, or better yet, visit your local ASE Education Foundation accredited community college or technical school.

The nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only nationally recognized certification program for automotive service professionals. ASE offers a wide range of tests that serve virtually every segment of the automotive service arena. More than 360,000 professionals hold current ASE certification. To learn more, go to www.ase.com.

ASE Education Foundation (formerly NATEF) is ASE’s education arm. ASE Education Foundation works closely with the automotive service industry to develop national standards for automotive training programs. Such programs, in turn, benefit students and employers alike by providing a steady stream of job-ready young technicians. For more information about ASE Education Foundation’s programs, a list of certified automotive Career/Technical programs in your area, and additional career information visit www.aseeducation.org.

Topics: high tech career path, Automotive careers

Tony Molla

Written by Tony Molla

Tony Molla is Vice President of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. Since 1951, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) has been the leading organization for owners and managers of automotive service businesses that strive to deliver excellence in service and repairs to consumers.