- A practical, technical role working with cars and other vehicles
- With experience, progress to be a supervisor or manager, or move into vehicle sales or marketing
- Requires practical skills, close attention to detail, and the ability to work methodically
Many cars and other vehicles are increasingly dependent on electrical and software systems and it is the auto electrician's job to make sure these are working properly.
- Taking readings using a laptop or hand-held device connected to an engine's electronic control unit
- Checking and testing wiring and parts in older vehicles
- Using portable instruments
- Using readings to find faults
- Researching faults perhaps using manufacturers' circuit diagrams and manuals
- Repairing or replacing faulty parts
- Retesting the system to make sure everything is working correctly and safely (this may include road testing the vehicle)
- Filling out a repair sheet and listing the work you have done
You'll work with a variety of electronic systems including:
- Immobilisers and tracking devices
- Electric windows
- Mirrors and seats
- Towbar electrics and air-conditioning
- Customised LED or neon lighting kits
- Parking warning systems and reversing cameras
You might also deal with in-car phones, screens and audio players.
You could specialise in light vehicles (cars, vans and motorcycles), heavy vehicles (lorries, buses and coaches), or one particular vehicle model if you work for a specific motor manufacturer.
You could work at a garage or in a workshop. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
This job would suit someone with an interest in cars or other vehicles who is practical, has good problem solving skills, and strong attention to detail.
You could get into this career through an intermediate apprenticeship in vehicle maintenance and repair, or you could do a vehicle maintenance and repair course at college that also covers auto electrical work. Relevant courses include Level 1 Certificate in Vehicle Systems Maintenance, Level 1 Award in Motor Vehicle Studies, Level 2 Certificate in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles, Level 2 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Competence and T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing.
You may need a driving licence, which might include LGV (lorries) or PCV (buses), depending on the vehicles you work with.
With experience, you could progress into a supervisor or manager role, or you could move into vehicle sales or marketing. You could also work freelance or set up your own business.