Careers in the automotive industry

Australia is one of only 13 countries that has the facilities to design and produce a car from sheet steel to dealer sale.  The industry is supported more than 67,000 separate businesses that create 361,000 jobs and career paths for individuals.

The industry collectively contributes more than $38 billion to the Australian economy each year and has an impressive history in exporting high-quality automotive products to a global market.  The industry has many areas of specialisation and these have helped build high-level trade and operational skills for many employees over the industry’s 100-year history in Australia.

When thinking about training for a career in automotive it is worth noting that there are more than 30,000 people undertaking automotive trade training programs each year. It’s a great industry with a broad range of options and career paths.

Looking to the future, the industry will need a comprehensive range of skilled personnel in design, manufacturing, sales and distribution, repair and servicing of passenger and commercial vehicles, heavy machinery, outdoor power

What jobs are in the automotive industry?

The automotive industry employs motor mechanics, auto electricians, spray painters, vehicle builders and body repairers. However, it also needs a range of other occupations, including:

  • Car and parts sales people
  • Outdoor power equipment
  • Marine
  • Bicycles
  • Production managers
  • Business and office administrators
  • Warehousing and logistic staff
  • Human resource and training managers
  • Designers
  • Engineers

The automotive industry offers work in a high tech, innovative and rapidly changing environment. It requires highly motivated employees who are able to assist automotive manufacturers, retailers and service businesses meet the demand for vehicles and components that:

  • Are environmentally friendly
  • Incorporate the latest automotive technologies
  • Are fuel efficient
  • Are safer


How can you start a career in the automotive industry?

There are many ways of starting a career in the automotive industry. The following information shows some of the education and training options that are available.

1st Gear

Enrol in Vocational Preparation. This will help you develop basic industry skills and broaden your understanding of the automotive industry in Australia. This qualification will lead on to further training that may be completed at a TAFE institute or private Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

2nd Gear

Enrol in an automotive school based apprenticeship/traineeship. This would enable you to gain further automotive competencies while completing your senior school certificate. Some of the automotive qualifications in which school based apprenticeships/traineeships are available, include:

  • AUR20112 Certificate II in Automotive Administration
  • AUR20212 Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
  • AUR20312 Certificate II in Bicycle Mechanical Technology
  • AUR20412 Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology
  • AUR20512 Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology
  • AUR20612 Certificate II in Marine Mechanical Technology
  • AUR20712 Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • AUR20812 Certificate II in Outdoor Power Equipment Technology
  • AUR20912 Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair Technology
  • AUR21012 Certificate II in Motorsport Technology
  • AUR21112 Certificate II in Automotive Sales
  • AUR21212 Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
  • AUR21312 Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
  • AUR21412 Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
  • AUR21512 Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
  • AUR21612 Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
  • AUR21712 Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
  • AUR21812 Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
  • AUR21913 Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology

3rd Gear

Undertake an apprenticeship in the automotive industry. Australian Apprenticeships cover both apprenticeships and traineeships. Australian Apprenticeships are jobs that combine paid work and structured training. With an Australian Apprenticeship you spend time in paid employment, learning practical skills on-the-job and putting them into practice. Structured training can be done either on-the-job or off-the-job training at a TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO). At the end of it, you can get a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships generally last between 36 to 48 months. Traineeships generally take between 12 to 24 months to complete. Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships are available in the following areas in the automotive industry:

  • Mechanical
  • Vehicle body
  • Administration
  • Electrical
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Outdoor power equipment
  • Sales
  • Bicycles
  • Marine
  • Engine reconditioning
  • Elevating work platforms
  • Alternative fuels

4th Gear

Complete a higher-level technical qualification. This will give you advanced skills that are required in the manufacturing and retail, service and repair sectors of the automotive industry. You might consider enrolling in either a Certificate IV or Diploma in:

  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Automotive – Business Management
  • Automotive – Technical
  • Automotive – Electrical
  • Automotive – Mechanical

Alternatively, you may consider a university course that focuses on the automotive industry as a future career path. This includes studies in engineering, electronics, business, human resources, information technology, and public relations.

So get your career search into gear and talk to your careers teacher today or contact Auto Skills Australia for further information.

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