Kangan Institute Blog

7 Career Paths to Start your Automotive Career

If you enjoy working with cars and other vehicles, perhaps an automotive career is the right path for you. This rapidly growing and high demand field keeps cars, trucks, boats and other automotive vehicles running smoothly.

We depend on these highly skilled workers to keep our cars and other automotive vehicles from breaking down. If you are interested in an automotive career consider getting certified with a nationally-accredited course in a Certificate II In Automotive Studies (Pre-Vocational) and turn your hobby into a career today.

TAFE courses are designed to provide you with broad knowledge and practical workshop skills in a number of automotive areas. If you are considering a career in this rapidly growing industry, continue reading to learn all the essential skills needed in a range of automotive areas.

Automotive Mechanics

Automotive mechanics duties are to work on the mechanical components of motor vehicles. They are also primarily responsible for diagnosing and mending motor vehicles and other internal combustion engines including, the engine, transmission and suspension systems. They are required to run tests to diagnose problems with engines and smaller parts and repair them for roadworthiness, environmental requirements and safety and be able maintain, reassemble, restore and overhaul these components. They also have the ability to talk to the vehicle's’ owner about mechanical issues and answer questions about the repair process.

Most automotive mechanics work in service stations, vehicle dealerships, for public authorities such as local governments and transport firms. Automotive mechanics must be able to manipulate and control dials, switches and gauges, be active listeners, have mechanical ability, be able to troubleshoot, have repair capabilities and be able to work with tools and other equipment.

Automotive Electrician

As a highly trained automotive electrician you will be required to perform a variety of duties associated with electronic mechanisms in cars. Automotive electricians install, maintain, identify problems and repair electrical wiring and computer based equipment in motor vehicles and other related equipment. This requires the ability to work with computer controlled engine management systems, service, identify and fix faults on electronically controlled vehicle systems such as electronic ignition, cruise control, fuel injection, air bags, automatic transmission and air conditioning.

This career requires being able to operate and ensure successful operation of engine control mechanisms and being able to organise and install electronic mechanisms and electrical wiring in automobiles. As an automotive electrician, the skills required are critical thinking, problem solving abilities, good hand-eye coordination, strong eyesight, a thorough methodology of completing work and a desire to keep learning as electrical systems change and upgrade.

Parts Interpreting

An automotive parts interpreter sells automotive parts and accessories in retail or wholesale outlets. These parts include batteries, headlights, tyres, seat covers, car cleaning equipment and engine, brake and transmission components. This career path allows you to specialise in one particular make of vehicle and most of their time is spent assisting customers.

Great communication skills and sales ability is needed in this role to help find out customers exact needs. You will also need to be able to recommend appropriate parts and assist customers in repairing or replacing parts. Other skills needed include being able to identify the make, model and variations of motor vehicles and automotive equipment, an organised approach to work, good problem-solving skills and the ability to work under pressure. Of course, an interest in motor vehicle parts and their functions is vital.

Heavy Vehicles

A heavy vehicle motor mechanic repairs, maintains and tests heavy vehicles, other engines and connected mechanical components. A heavy vehicle motor mechanic may work on buses, trucks, agricultural machinery and stationary engines, such as, generators, pumps, compressors and drilling rigs. To work well in this role, you will need to enjoy practical and manual activities, mechanical aptitude, be good at mathematics and be able to cope with the physical demands of the job.

Heavy vehicle motor mechanics need to be able to diagnose, repair, tune, maintain and test diesel, petrol and gas powered vehicles. Working with heavy vehicles you will need to detect mechanical and electrical faults by using instruments that check batteries, ignition, speed control, engine condition, braking efficiency and wheel balance and alignment. The skills required for this role include the ability to use welding and hand fitting or machining processes to replace or repair faulty parts.

Light Engines

Light vehicle motor mechanics are required to service, repair and maintain the mechanical parts of motor vehicles such as the engine, the transmission and the suspension systems. Light vehicle motor mechanics usually work in workshops and it is important they keep up to date with recent changes in motor industry technology.

This career path seeks an individual who enjoys practical, technical and manual activities and is able to work with hand tools. You will be able to perform the following tasks - discuss problems and faults with car drivers and vehicle operators, listen to engines, fit and operate special test equipment, and test drive vehicles. You will need to repair or replace faulty or worn parts by removing assemblies such as engines, transmission and steering gear systems. Duties also include tuning engines using special electronic equipment and making fine adjustments. You will need to diagnose, repair and replace engine systems such as lighting, instrumentation, ignition and electronic fuel injection. Finally, you will need to be able to inspect vehicles and issue certificates of roadworthiness or list the duties required before a certificate can be issued.

Engine Reconditioner

An engine reconditioner sets up and operates machinery to restore and recondition the machined surfaces of engines and related vehicle components. Engine reconditioners work in specialised workshops and sometimes specialise on one aspect of the job. If you are seeking a career in engine reconditioning you should enjoy practical and manual activities with a mechanical aptitude and being able to keep up to date with technological change.

Engine reconditioners will be required to dismantle, check and inspect engines for wear. They will also need to regrind camshafts and crankshafts, repair, recondition and pressure-test cylinder heads and cylinder blocks. You must also be able to check various components using micrometers and dial indicators, identify reasons for engine failure, install engines in cars, boats, trucks or tractors and reassemble engines after repair.

Marine Mechanics

Marine mechanics repair and maintain electrical and mechanical systems onboard a watercraft. They are required to work with their hands and must be familiar with systems on a variety of boats, ranging from small personal watercrafts to large commercial vessels. An individual seeking a job as a marine mechanic must possess the skills to service and repair 2- and 4-stroke engines.

Further job duties include, troubleshooting, repairing, installing and maintaining steering and propulsion systems, inboard and outboard motors, diesel engines, fuel systems and marine plumbing. Marine mechanics can find employment at several types of establishments, including boat dealers, independent repair shops, marinas, boatyards, docks and yacht centers.

Once you have completed your certification, students will then be eligible for a full time position in any of these career path and be able to work in mechanic shops, dealerships and other companies in need of your automotive skills.

You can find out about all our automotive courses here, call us on 138 233 or apply online today.

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