Whether you enjoy meeting different people every day or working ‘hands on’ with the latest technology, careers in the Retail Automotive Industry can cater for you. See what’s on offer for you working with light vehicles in both the showroom and the workshop on a daily basis.
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Light Vehicle Service Technicians service and repair vehicles such as cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes. Technicians are trained in all areas of vehicle mechanics and electronics, from engine and exhaust systems to air conditioning and security features.
The duties of a Light Vehicle Service Technician may include:
You will need to be trained in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at Level 2 at this stage of your career. There are a range of qualifications in light vehicle maintenance and repair covering the underpinning knowledge you will need to get started and the hands-on skills required to carry out the job. These qualifications can either be obtained through a full time college course or an apprenticeship.
As a Light Vehicle Service Technician you will need to demonstrate excellent practical skills, good communication skills and the ability to follow written and verbal instructions. In addition you would be required to work quickly with attention to detail, able to work without supervision and have a reasonable level of fitness.
Trainee Service Technician expect to earn between £7,000 and £13,000 depending on your age and stage of training.
Once you are qualified you may expect to earn between £22,000 and £26,000.
Light Vehicle Service Technician earning around £22k, to Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician earning around £26K and then Light Vehicle Master Technician earning up to £45k.
From Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician level you could also consider a career as a Workshop Controller with a salary of £30k, Fleet Maintenance Manager earning £18-45k+, Automotive Trainer at £35k or an MOT Examiner with a salary of £27k+.
Parts Advisors are also sometimes known as Vehicle Parts Operatives and they are responsible for ordering, selling and managing stock control on a wide range of vehicle parts and accessories.
Duties may vary from employer to employer but will typically include:
Although there are no formal qualifications required as a Parts Advisor you will need to demonstrate a good technical understanding and general knowledge of how motor vehicles work. You would also be required to have confidence in problem solving, processing payments and good communication skills. In addition it is key that you have a willingness to keep technical knowledge updated in order to provide the most efficient service possible and an ability to work on your own initiative and as well as being part of a team.
There are a range of qualifications for Parts Advisors covering the underpinning knowledge you will need to get started and the hands-on skills required to carry out the job. These qualifications are often obtained through an apprenticeship.
Full time hours are typically around 40 hours a week for a Parts Advisor. This could include some weekend or evening work and may be on a rota system with other team members. You may also be able to find part time work in this area. Working environments will differ depending on your employer so you may be based within a shop, parts distributor or dealership.
Trainee Parts Advisors may earn between £6,000 and £8,000 a year and when fully trained may earn between £10,000 and £15,000 a year, progressing to £20,000 or more with more experience.
A Parts Advisor could progress to a Parts Manager role earning £33,000 on average.
A Customer Service Advisor deals directly with customers, scheduling service work to their vehicles and informing them of any additional repairs required. They will handle administrative and customer relations aspects of service department operations.
Their duties may vary slightly from employer to employer depending on the size of the company, but they commonly include:
Employers will look for good GCSEs/Standard Grades in English, Maths and ICT and may also prefer a qualification in customer service.
As a Customer Service Advisor you will need to demonstrate a professional manner, good organisational skills and the ability to gather technical information and relay it in a way that customers will understand.
Customer Service Advisors normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday but depending on your employer this could include some Saturday work.
You will be office based and may be placed at the front of the business where you will conduct some of your work face to face and over the phone, communicating with customers and updating them on the progress of their vehicles.
Your salary could range from £12,000 to £25,000 depending on experience, however there may also be opportunities for shift or overtime pay depending on your employer.
You could progress your career to become and Customer Service or Aftersales Manager or work within any customer service department earning £26,000 to £33,000 a year.
Warranty Administrators are responsible for taking the lead on all warranty related issues between dealerships and their customers and manufacturers.
Duties of a Warranty Administrator may include:
Warranty Administrators will need to have knowledge of activities, methods, procedures and policies of the service and parts department. Therefore some employers may desire a qualification in business and administration for the automotive industry although there are no formal qualifications required for entry to this role.
As a Warranty Administrator you will need to demonstrate a professional appearance, good organisational skills, good communication skills and an ability to work as a team.
You will normally work around 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday and you will be office based within a garage or dealership.
A Warranty Administrator can expect to earn between £13,000 and £18,000 per year and there may be opportunities for shift and overtime pay depending on your employer.
You could progress your career within a dealership to a Senior Warranty Administrator or an Aftersales Manager earning £26,000 to £33,000 a year.
A Motorsport Technician specialises in maintaining and repairing motor sport vehicles such as cars and motorbikes. Motorsport Technicians will often find themselves in a racing environment and are expected to be at the forefront of the track, ready to work on any unexpected problems during the race, or carry out quick checks between laps.
Duties may include:
The entry requirements would be the same as for any vehicle technician however in addition, to work in the motorsport sub-sector, you would also need to demonstrate the capacity to be an exceptional team player, the ability to work under pressure, a passion for new technology and of course a strong interest in motorsport.
Being part of a race team often means you will work long and irregular hours. There will be a good deal of travel, depending on venues of races, and this may fluctuate according to the season. A Motorsport Technician may earn from £22,000 depending on experience and the level of the sport.
With experience you could progress to the role of Motorsport Technical Manager earning up to £40,000 or more as a Director .
Roadside Assistance Technicians are also known as Breakdown Engineers, and they are responsible for assisting motorists who are stranded at the side of the road. They are responsible for diagnosing problems with vehicles and either repairing them in situ, or moving them to a safety point.
Duties may commonly include:
You will need a full driving licence. You will also need to have a strong technical background and possess qualifications in roadside recovery at either Level 2 or 3.
As a Roadside Assistance Technician you will also need to demonstrate empathy, ability to work on your own, be able to think on your feet and stay calm under pressure.
Most Roadside Assistance Technicians work 40 hours a week which will include nights and weekend work on a rota basis. There may also be a need for on-call services. The majority of the time is spent on the road travelling to stranded customers and carrying out vehicle assessments using specialised equipment.
As a Roadside Assistance Technician you can expect to earn around £30,000 per year. This may rise to around £35,000 and £40,000 with experience.
To progress your career you may move up into a Regional Manager position or run your own business with potential earnings of over £47,000.
Workshop Controllers or Workshop Supervisors are responsible for looking after a team of technicians and provide sufficient guidance to enable them to carry out good levels of repair on motor vehicles.
Duties may vary between employers but will typically include:
Workshop controllers usually progress into this role after experience as a Diagnostic or Master Technician and would normally progress onto this level an existing employer. You should certainly be qualified to a Level 3 in a technical field and some employers may also desire a Level 3 qualification in Business and Administration or have completed some management training at this level.
As a Workshop Controller you would be required to demonstrate excellent leadership and people skills including the ability to motivate, coach and develop staff and build and maintain good customer service at all times. You would also require good organisational and communication skills and a confidence using IT software.
Business, Management and Administration Qualifications:
Most Workshop Controllers work 40 hours a week from Monday to Saturday and you will carry out the majority of your work in a workshop environment.
Once qualified, a Workshop Controller can expect to earn up to £30,000.
With experience you could progress your career to an Aftersales Manager role earning £26,000 to £33,000 a year.
Sales Executives are responsible for selling new and used vehicles from cars and motorcycles to vans and commercials trucks. In larger organisations you will work as part of a team or specialise in one aspect of selling however in smaller organisations you may be responsible for all aspects of vehicle sales.
Duties may vary depending on the type and size of the organisation, but they will commonly include:
Sales Executives do not need any formal qualifications although many employers will expect GCSE/Standard Grades (A-C) in Maths and English. More importantly you would need to have a genuine interest in the vehicles you are selling, a confident and outgoing personality and a smart appearance with a polite and professional approach.
It is also vital to have excellent communication and listening skills in order to be an effective negotiator and be able to explain technical information to the general public.
You would need to have the ability to build and maintain good customer relations, have confidence using IT software and a high level of numeracy. In addition you would need to demonstrate good organisational skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure. You would need to be a good team player and also be able to work without supervision.
Sales Executives usually work around 40 hours per week, which will include some weekend and evening work to cover the busiest trading times. It is also possible to find part time Sales Executive positions. The working environments may vary depending on the employer and the vehicles you are selling but you would normally be based in a showroom or an office. Many Sales Executives also have the opportunity to venture out to the forecourt to show customers around and accompany them on test drives.
A starting salary for new entrants may be between £9,000 and £15,000. Basic earnings for experienced sales people may start at £15,000, but with commission, bonuses and other benefits the final salary would be much higher. Successful Sales Executives would earn upwards of £35,000, possibly £50,000 or more and receive a company car.
A Sales Executive would typically progress their career to a Sales Manager role earning an annual salary of £35,000 and above.
Auto Electricians diagnose and repair electrical faults in vehicles. Modern vehicles rely heavily on electrical and electronic controls including satellite navigation systems.
Duties of an Auto Electrician may include:
Auto electricians specialise in the electrical components of vehicles and so need to be trained in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair / Auto Electrical at a minimum of Level 2 in order to carry out this role. You will also be expected to display a genuine interest in vehicle maintenance and repair and have excellent problem solving ability.
You would be based in a garage or workshop and may be out on the road if needed.
Auto Electricians normally work 40 hours per week from Monday to Friday, although some employers may operate an on-call service for emergencies on a rota system necessitating some weekend and evening work.
As a newly qualified Auto Electrician you can expect to earn between £15,000 and £17,000 however with some experience this would rise above £25,000 per year.
You can progress to the role of a Senior Auto Electrician or Workshop Controller once experienced, earning around £30,000 a year.
MOT Testers are responsible for testing and servicing all types and sizes of light vehicles to ensure they are safe to be driven on the roads. They carry out the role of a Diagnostic Technician as well as being responsible for testing the safety of the vehicles brought to them.
Duties will include:
MOT Testers would normally progress into this role from that of a Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician and you would need to have completed your Level 3 training in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. You will also need to have at least 4 years’ experience.
As an MOT Tester you would have to be confident working with diagnostic equipment and you would need to demonstrate excellent practical skills, good communication skills, have an ability to follow written and verbal instructions and to create written service reports. In addition it is required that you are a good problem solver, can keep calm under pressure, be able to stay focussed and work without supervision. Finally, you would be able to work quickly with attention to detail and have a reasonable level of fitness and normal colour vision.
A full driving licence in the class(es) of vehicle(s) you wish to test is required with no unspent convictions for criminal offences. There is a minimum age requirement of 20 years old and you would have to be sponsored by your testing station in order to sit the qualifications in MOT testing.
To maintain their professional status MOT Testers are required to undertake a minimum of 3 hours of annual training to remain up to date with best practice standards and complete an MOT annual assessment based on the DVSA specification.
For more information https://www.theimi.org.uk/mot-quals/index.html
Most MOT Testers work 40 hours a week from Monday to Saturday and you may find yourself working for a dealership or independent garage.
Salaries may range from £22,000 to £27,000 depending on your level of knowledge and experience.
Depending on your key strengths you can progress from this role to become a Light Vehicle Master Technician, a Workshop Controller or an Automotive Trainer earning an average of £25,000- £40,000.
General Managers or Dealer Principals are responsible for ensuring the efficient running of the whole organisation. They may be involved with planning, and motivating and co-ordinating the company’s management through leadership.
You will be Completing evaluation performance reviews and developing short and long term goals with each department manager, developing and maintaining business plans annually to enhance the company’s performance, creating and maintaining good working relationships with lending institutes and manufacturer personnel.
You would also be expected to oversee advertising programmes and merchandising strategies for the dealership, focus on customer complaints that department managers are unable to rectify and taking the necessary action to resolve these complaints, maintaining an enthusiastic outlook to build positive employee attitudes and morale within the dealership.
In addition you would be coordinating regular meetings with the managers of each department to ensure their profitability and efficiency and effectively communicating with the office manager on a weekly basis to review forecasts and consistency in performance.
Some previous experience in vehicle sales would be advantageous and a good starting point for this career.
If you have been working in the industry you may be able to progress to the level of general manager/dealer principal with sufficient training and/or a qualification in Automotive Management. Employers may also expect you to be qualified in management at a strategic level.
Most office based staff, including Dealer Principals, work on average 37-40 hours per week, usually Monday to Friday but, depending on your employer, this could include some Saturday work. You will be mainly office based and will be expected to attend regular meetings with team members and external customers in the UK and abroad.
Salary is £40,000 – £100,000+
You may also be eligible for holiday entitlement, company pension and private healthcare schemes.
Automotive Trainers are responsible for training and teaching students or adult learners both the theory and practical knowledge that they need in order to pass certain qualifications or to do their jobs effectively.
As an Automotive Trainer you will need excellent communication skills to be able to teach students / learners complex theories in ways to suit a variety of learning styles as wel as excellent maths, English and ICT grades to enable you to meet the standards required of a teacher / trainer.
Most Automotive Trainers progress into the role after they have gained experience (minimum 3 years) within the industry. Many colleges and training providers will train you once you are employed however you should always check this when applying as there are timescales to achieve certain qualifications when working in publicly funded training environments.
Automotive Trainers usually work 37.5 hours a week from Monday to Friday. If you were to work for a college you will have the school holidays off however this does not apply to working for a private training provider.
You will be based in a college or training centre and may work alongside local employers and automotive businesses. If, as part of your role, you are also an assessor you may have to do workplace visits to carry out assessments.
As a new Automotive Trainer you can expect to earn between £18,000 and £25,000 and with more experience up to £35,000 per year.
With experience you could progress to become a Training Manager or a Head of Department leading other Automotive Trainers earning upwards of £35,000.