The 12 Best Automotive Careers for Car Lovers

Illustration of a group of men working on two cars in a garage

Do you feel like your career is on cruise control?

Perhaps it’s time to put your pedal to the metal and start revving up your career path like a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500.

Instead of getting a degree in something that doesn’t interest you or pushing papers eight hours a day, maybe you should search for jobs that really stimulate your mind and allow you to go to bed excited for tomorrow.

For car lovers, this might be a wakeup call to either consider automotive careers or to transition from what you are doing now to the motor trade.

Is it a gamble? Sure.

Is it worth the risk? Yes, it is.

It’s time to hit the brakes on the mundane, fill up on your calling and accelerate into a profession that will yield tremendous results.

Unsure what to do?

We’ve compiled an eclectic list of automotive jobs that would attract any grease monkey.

1. Car Dealer

When you’re passionate about something, it can be seen by everyone. Eventually, your passion becomes contagious, and others get excited by the same thing, which is a great characteristic in a car dealership.

Also known as a salesperson, a car dealer will essentially handle the transaction. This involves negotiating the price, explaining financing options and warranties, collecting payments, test-driving the car with customers, and delivering the product.

The typical education level for a car dealer is high school, but two things are more common: college coursework in finance or public speaking and specialised automotive technology training.

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2. Autobody Technician

An auto body technician will make automobiles as good as new again following a car accident or some other type of incident. Using the best tools at their disposal, your role will be to remove old parts, install new ones, remedy scratches, fill holes and reverse any damage.

The position also consists of preventive maintenance, such as inspecting and testing cars, performing engine tune-ups and oil changes, replacing filters, and washing the automobiles.

After receiving your high school diploma, there are two things you can do: apply for formal training or get on-the-job training. In today’s market, it might be preferable to attain a trade education first.

3. Car Rental Agent

Car rental agents combine their love of cars, clerical skills and sales-driven personalities.

Providing customer service to people who need to rent an automobile – sedan, luxury or 4x4 – car rental agents will complete the transaction, check the condition of the car (before and after), collect payments, take phone calls and solve complaints. A lot of entry-level positions will consist of cleaning the cars, filling them up with gasoline and ensuring they are ready for the next client.

The main requirement for this job is a high school diploma. You should also have proficient computer and data entry skills.

4. Valet

A valet driver will assist and retrieve vehicles for a hotel, building or restaurant’s guests. In addition to working hands on with cars that come onto the premise, valets will be responsible for assisting guests with their luggage, providing directions when asked, greeting visitors and offering any other guest-related assistance. But the main thing is that you are driving cars from and to the lot.

If you love cars, then this is your opportunity to experiment with a long list of vehicles – from the exotic to the mundane.

Not much is required to become a valet, except a high school diploma (or GED equivalent) and a driver’s licence.

5. Rideshare Driver

Signing up for a rideshare service – Uber, Lyft or Turo – has become a top career or supplemental choice for many motorists. Yes, these kinds of jobs have garnered bad press as of late, but a large number of drivers are still flocking to these companies. And you cannot blame them: flexibility, self-employment, seeing the best sights in the city and meeting all kinds of people (good and bad).

But it isn’t for everybody, because it requires better-than-average driving skills, organisation with mobile apps, basic accounting acumen and stellar customer service.

All you need is a driver’s licence, a high-functioning vehicle and a smartphone.

6. Restoration Specialist

Classic cars are extremely popular right now. From the 1920s Ford Model-T to the hot rods of the 1950s to the Ferrari and Porsche models of the 1980s, a lot of auto aficionados are picking up these vehicles either as a hobby or an investment. This means there is now a high demand for restorers.

Your job will consist of either restoring cars the way they were originally constructed and maintained or restoring cars but installing the latest technologies and innovations which brings these cars into the modern era.

Like other technician jobs, this position does require basic high school education with specialised or on-the-job training. It also helps to understand car history.

7. Assembly Worker

Assembly workers perform back-breaking and repetitive laborious tasks.

By working in an auto factory, your job will be to put together automobiles, buses or trucks at specific workstations along the assembly line. You will also utilise a wide array of tools, such as power tools, welding equipment, production fixtures and hand tools.

A high school diploma or a GED equivalency is satisfactory. Although it is a bonus to possess formal training, many assembly plants provide on-the-job training to applicants willing to learn.

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8. Car Wash Attendant

If it pains you to see a beautiful car in a terrible state or if you enjoy the smell of clean automobiles, then a car wash attendant might be a job for you.

The primary responsibility of the position is to clean customers’ cars – interior and exterior – and offer sublime customer service. You may also apply wax upon the customers’ request.

There are no formal requirements to enter this profession.

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9. Auto Designer

What is your dream car? Well, if you’re like Homer Simpson, then you want an extremely large beverage holder, a bubble dome, a horn in every direction that plays ‘La Cucaracha’ and muzzles for the kids.

In all seriousness, being a designer in the industry is one of the most exhilarating employment opportunities, because you see your vision come to life. You will collaborate with engineers to design functioning cars that can both attract buyers and strike a balance between affordability and environmentally friendly. You are potentially designing the next big thing in the auto market.

You are required to have a four-year university degree, as well as work experience.

10. Journalist

When you have a penchant for the written word and a passion for everything cars, then you could consider a career in journalism. Whether it is for a newspaper or a professional blog, auto journalists cover press events, attend industry conferences or cover those massive expos around the world.

There are a couple of prerequisites: a university degree, communication (primarily written) skills and a portfolio of content that showcases your work.

11. Vocational Teacher

Universities, colleges, and vocational and trade schools are always searching for superb instructors. With Generation Z students deciding to forego expensive four-year degrees, many of them are deciding more practical careers, including in the automobile industry.

To keep up with this demand, educational institutions are bringing on more staff to manage classrooms, teach shop and laboratory, ensure a safe learning environment and educate pupils on automotive technology. Automotive instructors will also connect students to partner with repair shops, technical support organisations and corporate training groups.

Requirements do vary in each jurisdiction, but you’ll typically need to hold a university degree, complete a student teaching internship and take state/province exams for teachers.

12. Driving Instructor

There’s also another automotive teaching position that can yield high-paying wages and contribute to the future: a driving instructor.

Driving instructors will teach students about the rules of the road, help student drivers learn about safe driving habits, manage theory class timings and supply students with information when an emergency situation arises. Of course, the big thing is driving with students and determining if they can pass an official government-tested exam.

Most jurisdictions mandate a high school diploma, but the major requirement is to acquire an instructor’s licence, followed by sufficient training and obtaining work experience.

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Finding a career should not be as difficult as parallel parking or keeping your cool in rush-hour traffic.

While not everyone can be like Jay Leno and have their own reality television series about their collection of vintage cars, you can still enjoy a rewarding career in the automotive industry. Whether it is underneath the hood of a BMW or in an office at Ford headquarters, there are plenty of automotive jobs to consider.

Are you ready to kick your career into high gear? Do you work in any of these professions or have any other recommendations you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.