Below we look at 20 different career possibilities for real automotive enthusiasts. And no, we’re not talking about the blatantly obvious career options like ‘mechanic’ or ‘race car driver’, instead we explore some less common, but equally interesting jobs. All of which have been carefully selected for the true car fanatic.
A successful vehicle photographer would have opportunity to get up close and personal with a range of vehicles, from classic models to elite supercars. As a car photographer, your passion for motors would be reflected in your work. You would use carefully selected scenery and lighting to highlight your subject and bring it to life.
There are many avenues you could take to become a car photographer. It is recommended you practice as much as possible by snapping pictures of your own car, cars of friends and family or even vehicles on the street. If you’re not confident with a camera, browse your local area or online for courses. Remember, you don’t need expensive equipment to take a good photograph; you can practice using your phone camera to begin with. Look to successful car photographers for tips and inspiration, and post your work on public photo sharing sites like Flickr. You may have to offer your work for free at first, but if people like what you do they will be willing to pay you for it.
Automotive technicians have a similar role to mechanics in that they use their skills and knowledge to repair and maintain a vehicles condition. However, there is a difference between a mechanic and a technician. While mechanics have a fairly hands on role in working with vehicles, auto technicians work more with computer systems and technology. As technology is an ever-evolving field, auto technicians play an important role in the repair and maintenance of modern vehicles. As an auto technician you would use special, computerised diagnostic systems to identify and correct problems. You would need to demonstrate logical thinking and have a keen interest in automotive related technology.
The basic vocational route to becoming an automotive technician would be to achieve a level 2 or higher in vehicle technology. Some workshops may hire you on experience alone, or be willing to provide training if you can demonstrate an excellent understanding and interest in modern cars.
Automotive Restoration Technician
The main responsibility of a restoration technician is to restore a car back to its original condition. This is done by carrying out work on the body and engine. Restoration technicians mainly work with classic and vintage vehicles. It is a diverse role and requires a diverse skill set, however many of the skills required can be developed in the role. Full vehicle restoration often requires engine work such as repairs or rebuilds, electrical work and cosmetic work e.g. fabricating and welding. This is an excellent role for the car fanatic who appreciates the craftsmanship of classic vehicles, but also likes to get their hands dirty.
The skills and qualifications required for this role vary, depending on where the job is based. Most roles take place at independent garages and workshops, and look for candidates with a lot of experience as well as a love for classic cars. Apprenticeships tend to be the most common and successful way of gaining work. However, any experience in working with cars, especially classic cars is valuable to this role. Another pathway would be to gain a degree or level 3 qualification in auto body repair.
Vehicle Damage Assessor
The role of a vehicle damage assessor is to accurately estimate the cost of repair by thoroughly inspecting damaged vehicles. Damage assessors work closely with vehicle technicians in a workshop environment. Each day as a damage assessor you will see a wide variety of vehicles in a range of conditions.
To become a damage assessor, you will need at least a level 3 qualification in ATA. Experience in an automotive environment or in accident repair would also be beneficial.
Automotive designers use their creative skills to design new vehicles, usually focusing on either the interior or exterior design. They work closely with clients and other designers to come up with new and exciting concepts. Designers use a combination of pencil sketches, CAD drawings, 3D models and prototypes to help convey their final vision to clients. Designers must have a passion for automotive design as well as good logical thinking skills. Designers must consider how their concept will be manufactured and use complex mathematical equations as well as computer software to identify potential flaws in their design. This is an ideal role for the automotive enthusiast with a strong attention to detail, as well as a passion for technically challenging and creative work.
Automobile designers must have a good understanding of the automobile design industry as well as excellent drawing and computer skills, including the ability to use relevant programmes such as CAD. Automobile designers may also be required to travel internationally. A degree level qualification in automotive and transport design would certainly be useful, however a related design degree such as industrial design may also be acceptable.
If you love to be behind the wheel, and want the opportunity to drive many different cars, then this job is for you. Delivery drivers/collectors have the duty to deliver contract hire and lease vehicles to their new owners safely and on time. Usually, delivery drivers are the first to get behind the wheel of brand new vehicles and take them for a spin. Drivers may need to drive long distances to deliver and collect vehicles. During delivery, you will need to brief the client on the ins and outs of their new ride. This requires a good level of communication skills as well as a good, general understanding of the vehicle itself.
A full and clean driving license is usually required for this role, however some firms may accept a license with 6 points or less for minor driving offences. It is usually necessary that you have held your driving license for a minimum of five years if you wish to apply for this role. You will also be required to fill in documents and communicate with clients on a daily basis, therefore good numeral and literal skills, as well as good communication skills is a must.
The role of a car buyer is to source and purchase vehicles for a dealership. Buyers have a lot of responsibility, as the sales operation of the dealership is entirely dependent on the vehicles they select. Vehicle buying is an exciting, but equally demanding role as you would need to demonstrate great organisation, negotiation and leadership skills.
Buyers are usually expected to travel to various locations and work with a variety of departments, both internal and external. Most dealerships look for someone with experience in a sales/buying related role as well as a widespread knowledge of car makes and models.
Classic car mechanic
If you have a love for classic and vintage cars, and love the thought of tinkering around with old engines on a daily basis, this may be your ideal career choice. As a classic car mechanic, you would have the opportunity to get up close and personal with many rare classic models. Vintage car owners tend to consider their vehicles as some of their most prized possessions, so it is absolutely essential that you would demonstrate a high level of professionalism and pride in your work.
Similar to a restoration technician, a classic car mechanic would need some experience working with classic cars. For this role, experience and enthusiasm tends to be more highly valued than a set of qualifications, however auto mechanic apprenticeships can be particularly helpful in setting you off on the right track.
Automotive Quality inspector
The role of quality inspector is hands on and challenging. A good quality inspector would be technically minded and have a great eye for detail. As a quality inspector, you would work with various car parts and materials, ensuring they meet exacting standards. Quality inspectors use various tools and equipment to help them do their job, but rely most on their own critical thinking skills to determine whether or not a finished product should be accepted or rejected.
To become an automotive you will need to be educated to a high school level. Most employers will look for a candidate with experience in some kind of automotive background as well as experience in inspection. This experience can be gained via apprenticeship qualification or working in an automotive workshop.
If you want to share your knowledge and love of cars with fellow automotive enthusiasts then teaching is a fantastic career choice. Many different teaching roles exist within the automotive field: from hands on roles in workshops to lecturing positions in colleges and universities. Therefore, if you are considering becoming a teacher in the automotive field, we recommend you first consider which area you are most interested in.
When it comes to teaching in the automotive field, the skills and qualifications needed vary depending on the level you will be teaching at. Some colleges and universities are simply looking for someone experienced in the automotive field to help assist students with their work, whereas other positions will require someone that is fully qualified at university level. Take a look at what teaching positions are open in your area and what kind of qualifications/experience they call for.
Article by AP Diesels – Diesel Injector and Diesel Pump Specialists