Kangan Institute Blog

Career Opportunities in the Automotive Industry

Working within the automotive industry is fast-paced and an exciting career choice, with over 17 million cars and motorcycles registered in Australia that all need to be serviced and repaired. The automotive industry is currently on the road to a more environmentally friendly future and technological innovation will be a crucial feature as cars continue to evolve to meet the needs of a low carbon economy.

Australia’s automotive industry is a major contributor to the nation’s lifestyle and economy. The automotive sector is the largest manufacturing industry in Australia, with nearly 52,000 people directly employed by the three local vehicle manufacturers, dozens of importers and thousands of related components manufacturers. Rapid changes in technology are influencing the many industries, most notably in the repair and maintenance subsector, where advances in automotive manufacturing mean that maintaining skills currency is a front-of-mind issue.

Companies are also identifying gaps in basic skill levels, associating industry recruitment difficulties with an absence of ‘job-ready’ candidates. A high proportion of companies engage with the vocational training system in response to their skill needs, influenced partly by the reasonably strong uptake of apprenticeships in the industry. Students looking to start a career in the automotive industry should begin their training with the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR20720), this will give students a great introduction to the industry and kickstart their career today.

The wide-ranging automotive industry includes car manufacturers, importers, distribution, parts suppliers and manufacturers, car dealers, mechanics, logistics and transport. These companies are more than often engaged in the design, research, development, manufacture, sale and maintenance of motor vehicles and parts.

The demand for highly skilled technicians in all sectors of the industry will continue to grow as the government subsidises the long anticipated green-car revolution. Hybrid cars will be great contenders to lead the green revolution over the next five years. The current advancements in technology have led to a growing number of career opportunities, and high vehicle sales have increased the number of vehicles that require maintenance and repair attributing to the growing need of skilled tradespeople.

The automotive is a sector within the Other Services. The Other Services industry includes a range of personal care services, such as hair, beauty and weight management services; death care services; administering religious events; or promoting the interests of their members. Also included are repair and maintenance activities for automotive and other machinery and equipment. This industry contributed $6.1 billion to Victoria’s output in 2013-14 representing 2% of the total. The Other services sector employs approximately 109,300 people, with a growth of 3% over the past five years, with the largest growth in Personal and Other Services. The employment outcomes for students who study to become a mechanic once they finish their training show 68% of people who were not yet employed before beginning their course were employed after completing it.

Career Opportunities

Some of the career paths within the automotive industry include:

Automotive Mechanic - Median salary AU $49,218

A career as an automotive mechanic over the next four years to November 2019 is expected to be above average (between 25,001 and 50,000). Employment for this occupation rose strongly in the past five years and rose moderately in the long-term (10 years). Looking forward employment for Automotive Mechanics to November 2019 is expected to remain steady. As a very large occupation, this suggests opportunities should be available in most regions. Automotive Mechanics have a very high proportion of full-time jobs, 93.8%. For Automotive Mechanics working full-time, average weekly hours are 40.3 compared to 40.9 for other occupations and unemployment for Automotive Mechanics is below average. Motor Mechanics are mainly employed in Other Services, Retail Trade and Transport and Transport, Postal and Warehousing.

Automotive Electrician - Median salary AU $54,189

Over the next four years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Automotive Electricians is expected to remain steady. The employment for this occupation rose very strongly in the past five years and expects to stay steady in the long-term. Looking forward, employment for Automotive Electricians to November 2019 is expected to grow slightly. The earning for this job are above average and unemployment for an Automotive Electrician is below average. Automotive Electricians are mainly employed in Other Services, Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade.

Motor Vehicle Parts Technician - Median salary AU $47,651

The number of job openings for Motor Vehicle Parts Technician over the next four years to November 2019 is expected to be above average (between 25,001 and 50,000). Employment for Motor Vehicle Parts Technician is expected to grow strongly to November 2019. This is a large occupation suggesting opportunities should be available in most regions. Motor Vehicle Parts Technicians are employed in retail trade, wholesale trade and other services.

Here are a list of some additional careers in the automotive industry and the average salary:

  • Vehicle Body Panel Beaters - Median salary AU $48,864
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanic - Median salary AU $69,397
  • Motorcycle Mechanic - Median salary AU $46,943
  • Marine Mechanic - Median salary AU $49,971

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