Ever since you were young, you’ve loved taking apart cars and looking at how they worked. You could wire a car’s electrical system in your sleep, and you have a good knowledge about the electrical systems in other motor vehicles, such as mining and marine vehicles.
Learn about a day in the life of an automotive electrician and catch a glimpse of what your life could look like in this rewarding field.
Off to work
The automotive industry allows for a lot of flexibility when it comes to automotive electricians. After receiving training and completing an apprenticeship (which we’ll discuss later), an electrician will usually go to work at a local mechanic shop, dealership or service station.
Automotive electricians mainly work regular business hours from about 8 am to 5 pm on Mondays through Fridays. In special cases, these experts might work weekends to make additional money or they may work later in the evening to accommodate others who cannot pick up a car until after their 5 pm shift.
Occasionally, automotive engineers will make house calls. If you develop a bank of customers who come to rely on your services, you can charge more for these services.
For automotive electricians who decide to continue their education and get more experience, they can also go to work at mining sites and learn to work on mining equipment. These electricians are highly valued at mines because they’re usually in charge of keeping all the equipment running smoothly.
On the job
The automotive electrician field is perfect for those who love to work with their hands and have a comprehensive understanding of how engines operate. An electrician’s primary duty is to run diagnostic tests on vehicles to figure out what is going wrong with the motor vehicle. They use specific diagnostic equipment to check for certain areas in the engine that may be causing problems.
Once the problem with the vehicle has been discovered, it will also be up to the automotive electrician to install new electrical equipment and make the necessary repairs. In order to do this work, automotive electrician will need to have a certain set of skills, mainly:
- Solid reading, writing and mathematics skills.
- Strict attention to detail.
- Good eyesight to be able to see all the working parts of a vehicle.
- Strong problem-solving skills.
- Intricate understanding of certain power and hand tools and equipment common to mechanical workshops.
- Great communication skills.
- Drive to continue with education in the future.
Completing most jobs will require the use of power and hand tools, both of which an automotive electrician needs to know a lot about. From drills to soldering irons, electricians need to be comfortable using these tools and understand how they can better help complete a job.
There is usually a customer service aspect to this job. The automotive electrician may speak directly with the client to ask about certain symptoms and to get more information about the vehicle’s history. Electricians will also need to be able to explain what is wrong with the vehicle to customers and be able to make good suggestions about repairs and maintenance work that customers should be doing.
On any given day, a typical automotive electrician will diagnose and repair several cars per day
, depending on how extensive the repairs are to each vehicle. Electricians will also have to interact with customers to set up appointment and complete repairs.
What all electricians can look forward to is diversity, especially if they complete additional training to work on mining equipment and marine motor vehicles. Everyday, electricians will tackle a new challenge and work on a different set of vehicles. At the end of the day, most electricians feel satisfied with the work done and enjoy looking forward to something new and different every day.
How do I get started?
If the day of an automotive electrician sounds like fun work to you, your first step is to get the proper training needed to be employed at a mechanic shop or dealership.
By getting a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
from the Kangan Institute, you’ll be on the right track to achieving your dream career in the automotive industry. This impressive course is part time and lasts for approximately three years, but during those years, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge about the electronic systems of all sorts of engines of different makes and models.
You’ll also be able to start a school-based apprenticeship, which will open up plenty of opportunities for you. You’ll start working right away in a mechanic’s shop and learn from those already working in the industry.
The automotive industry is not shrinking; in many ways, it’s growing. There are new opportunities available every day, and as a qualified automotive electrician
, you can be sure that your skills will always be needed. Once you secure the foundation of your education, you can then branch out into other specialised motor vehicles, such as commercial, marine or evening mining vehicles. This career as an automotive electrician can easily be yours, but it all starts with a great education.
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