How to Become an Auto Electrician

auto electrician

If you are an automobile enthusiast, working as an auto electrician might be the best career path to follow. Auto electricians play a vital role in the creation and maintenance of automobiles. This job has a lot of benefits in store for individuals with a solid mechanical aptitude and affection for cars.

What do auto electricians do?

Most modern automobiles have a wide variety of electronic apparatus that govern the vehicle’s performance. Below are some of the areas that require the attention of an auto electrician:

  • Reverse cameras, bleepers and parking warning systems
  • Instrument panels, gauges and digital dashboard displays
  • Air-conditioning systems, towbar electrics and electric windows
  • Immobilizers and tracking, alarms and central locking devices
  • Rear lights, headlights, neon lighting kits and fog and spot lamps

Auto electricians’ activities include but are not limited to:

  • Servicing, identifying and repairing faults on electronically regulated vehicle systems
  • Installing electrical apparatus such as alternators and gauges
  • Installing electrically operated gadgets such as air conditioners and radios
  • Referring to circuit diagrams and using meters and test tools to cite electrical faults
  • Adjusting engine control systems to ensure proper performance of vehicles
  • Testing, reconditioning and replacing faulty alternators, starter motors, generators and affiliated items
  • Soldering and welding when repairing electrical components

Auto electricians are usually required to wear protective clothing attire when carrying out these activities.


Auto electrician wages depend on the type of employer, experience and level of skill. Below is the summary of the auto electricians’ median annual earnings according to the level of seniority.

Level of Seniority

Median Annual Earnings



Newly Qualified




Source: nationalcareersservice

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As much as auto electricians work on the automobile, they also interact with the vehicle owners on a frequent basis. As such they should possess the following skills:

  • Must be someone who enjoys manual and practical work
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Ability to give work a systematic and thorough approach
  • Ability to keep track of the recent technological advances
  • Technical activities’ aptitude
  • Excellent visual perceptiveness
  • Dexterity and ability to perform tasks in small spaces
  • Customer service knowledge
  • Ability to collaborate with other workers, solve problems, and pay close attention to details
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record since they are expected to drive the customer’s vehicles.


Most auto electricians obtain on-the-job training. Those with vocational training and hands-on experience in automotive electronics stand a better chance of getting employment opportunities in the repair of automobile electrical systems. However, many employers prefer candidates who have secured an associate degree. It takes an average of a year to complete vocational training while the associate degree curriculum normally takes two years. The associate degree program will cover physics, chemistry, math and electronics.

For auto electricians to work for as many employers as possible they need to obtain certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Pursuing a master’s degree in automotive electronic engineering opens more opportunities in the automotive electronic industry. There are many schools offering automotive technology courses which offer career advancement opportunities for their students.

Career prospects

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for automotive service technicians and mechanics is estimated to increase by 9% from 2102-2022. This is because as the number of vehicle users increases, there is a consequent need for experts to perform basic repair and maintenance hence the rise in demand for these professionals.

Auto electricians can secure jobs with transport, freight and construction companies, manufacturer’s service centers, garages, fast fit outlets, vehicle hire and breakdown organisations and car dealerships. There are also more job openings with the taxi companies, police forces, local authorities and companies that own large fleets of vehicles. With increased experience, you can work in various capacities. For instance, you can work as workshop technician, senior technician or workshop manager.

If you love automobiles, working as an auto electrician gives you the chance to earn a living while pursuing your passion. You get the satisfaction derived from helping other individuals get their vehicles back on the road. Additionally, you will also save a significant amount of money since you can perform repairs on your own car.