Some of us just have an obsession. An itch that can only be scratched by tinkering. Putting things together, taking them apart, seeing how they work. And if those things happen to make a deep rumbling noise and propel you really fast when properly assembled, well then all the better! If you’re a tinkerer, but never considered a career in the automotive industry, maybe you should! Below are a few details about getting started in professions that will pay you to scratch that tinkering itch.
Probably the most obvious of automotive professions, mechanics are responsible for the nitty-gritty of auto maintenance and repair. The ideal candidate enjoys building, precision, and order. A person with good manual dexterity and a desire to figure out problems may have what it takes to become an auto mechanic. Mechanics are responsible for repairing systems on a vehicle, for things like brake pad replacement and repair, suspension and steering, and engine performance enhancements are all an everyday part of this career path.
For one to be hired as a mechanic, an automotive repair certification is required due to the increasing complexity in the field. These can be obtained through online programs, or through continuing education programs offered through automobile manufacturers. Make a few inquiries with manufacturers as well as aftermarket shops, part suppliers, and online programs to see what educational programs exist.
Like mechanics, most body shops require auto-body painters to have a credential in addition to their high school diploma. Also like mechanics, a good body painter pays attention to and is meticulous about detail, and is very precise in their work. Unlike a mechanic, auto body painting can provide more of a creative outlet than simply taking things apart and putting them together. Auto body painters get to do a lot more than just re-touch or paint a car. They also deal with trim and body kits, sanding and molding, and different finish options that are a part of every auto painting project.
There are several steps one must take in order to be a viable candidate for this type of position, one requires an apprenticeship and one, a certification through an accredited program. The apprentice route allows you to receive both on the job training with an experienced painter, as well as classroom instruction. You can also choose to go straight to school to get your certification and look for on the job training after you complete your 2 year technical degree, or your 1 year certification program.
Auto appraisers have a big and important role in the automotive industry. To become a successful auto appraiser, you’ll have to love cars and know a great deal about them. For example, things like general knowledge about the various auto makers, models, styles and resale values are an absolute must. You’ll need to know about production histories, the accessibility of parts and much more to be able to deliver accurate and consistent appraisals of an automobile’s real value.
The most successful appraisers are people who love cars. If you think this might be a career path for you, begin by knowing as much as you can about cars. Pick up a copy of Kelley’s Blue book to start getting acquainted with common resale values for different makes and models. You should look at this as just the beginning of a never ending education process. Pay special attention to common themes amongst parts, models, or makers that commonly inflate or deflate a vehicle’s true value. Check locally or online to see if any education programs for this field are available as that will give you a good leg up.