As a car enthusiast, you’re interested in more than just driving—you’re passionate about the craftsmanship of vehicles and the engineering involved in manufacturing each vehicle. Car enthusiasts may be tempted to overlook the automotive industry when searching for a high-paying career. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the auto industry is expanding at a rapid pace, with approximately 770,100 technicians and mechanics playing a vital role in keeping the nation moving.
Careers in the automotive industry range from racing cars to transporting cars across the country. Whether you’re interested in working on traditional cars, determining new ways to make cars run better, or participating in groundbreaking work in the automotive industry, here are four careers in the auto industry that can help you earn a lucrative income.
As the person who makes the final connection between a new car and its new owner, auto sales supervisors play an integral role in the automotive industry. Sales supervisors educate customers about financing options, negotiate vehicle sales, and close deals. If you love working directly with the public and negotiating with others, a career as an auto sales supervisor can help you earn valuable work experience in the automotive industry.
Sales associates earn variable pay depending on the dealership, compensation structure, and how much of a bonus is awarded for a certain number of sales. According to 2010 data from the BLS, first-line supervisors earn relatively high salaries, at an average of $74,270 a year.
Auto Repair Technicians
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According to 2010 data from the BLS, at an average of $41,270 a year, body repair technicians earn higher wages than tire repair, electronic equipment repair, glass repair, and diesel technicians. Body repair technicians who work for the government or car manufacturers are paid even higher salaries. While manufacturing technicians earn $57,480 annually, government-employed technicians earn approximately $53,640.
If you’re considering a career in automotive technology, automotive and diesel certifications are needed to correctly test, diagnose, repair, and adjust automotive components to optimize engine performance, breaks, steering and suspension, and electronic systems. At the New York Auto & Diesel Institute, ASE Automotive Certification graduate students are taught theoretical knowledge and “real-world” skills required to service the latest vehicles and ensure customer satisfaction.
Auto racing is a particularly lucrative career in the automotive industry. From mechanics to promoters, a diverse range of career opportunities are available in the auto racing industry. While the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the most prominent racing organization in the auto industry, many regional stock car associations serve as a training ground for racers and crews.
According to the BLS, repair technicians in the auto racing industry earn $54,750 a year on average, while mechanics earn $51,160. First-line supervisors, who supervise the crew maintenance team, earn even higher salaries at $67,960 a year, while mechanical engineers earn $78,320 a year on average.
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If you’re a car enthusiast with years of work experience on the road, a career in auto transport can help you fuel your passion while earning a lucrative income. Auto transport “carriers” operate trucks and deliver vehicles. As the owner and operator of a single transport truck (or, in some cases, a few trucks), carriers are responsible for safely picking up and delivering cars, vans, SUVs, and motorcycles. Auto transport carriers are experts at physical, hands-on aspects of loading and unloading vehicles.
In most cases, auto transport carriers adopt a hands-off approach toward the “front-end” of the car transport process, which typically involves calculating quotes, optimizing routes, and coordinating customer contact. Consequently, auto transport carriers work with transport brokers like Easy Car Shipping. When working with transport carriers, brokers typically require at least 100,000 miles of work experience as a transport professional or a certified professional training program, as well as appropriate insurance coverage.
From sales supervisors to auto transport carriers, a wide range of high-paying career opportunities are available for car enthusiasts.