By Jenny Cairns 04 May 2022 5 min read

Skills required in the automotive industry

If you want to pursue a career in the automotive industry, it’s important to bolster your resume with specific qualifications. So, what should you focus on? 

Here are some required skills that will help you find a decent entry-level position and set you on the road to success.

1. Vehicle Familiarity

The most important prerequisite for the automotive industry is vehicle familiarity. You have to know your way around a car, both inside and out. The average automobile has about 30,000 parts, from the engine to the last screw. 

An employer won’t expect you to know all of them, but you should at least know how to perform routine maintenance and fix common mechanical issues.

Vehicle familiarity also applies to the automotive industry as a whole. Keep up with the latest news about technological advancements and new car releases. Standard maintenance practises can also change, so you need to stay informed.


2. Attention to Detail

Every automotive professional must have a keen eye for detail. Most vehicle problems aren’t immediately obvious and take careful analysis to identify the source. The solutions also tend to be complex and multi-stepped, requiring precise parts, tools and measurements to get the job done. The wrong tool or a minor mathematical error can throw off a project and force you to start over.

You will also have to spot slight variations between similar vehicles. No two cars are identical, even the same makes and models. Every one has a unique experience that leads to different problems. You need to identify these tiny differences and know the proper course of action.


3. Strong Work Ethic

Vehicle maintenance and repairs aren’t always straightforward. You might spend hours working on one issue, only to encounter 10 more problems along the way. The average day is fast-paced and requires workers to keep up with the steady inflow of vehicles that need servicing.

For these reasons, a strong work ethic is an absolute must-have in the automotive industry. The average day in a repair shop is not for the faint of heart. You have to love what you’re doing. If you find a full-time position, the adjustment period will be much easier if you have experience with physically demanding jobs.


4. Organisation

Knowledge, attention to detail and a solid work ethic are all essential, but they will only get you so far. You need top-notch organisational skills if you want a lasting career in the automotive industry. This trait separates the professionals from the amateurs. They structured their workspaces so every tool has a designated location, making their workflow faster and more efficient.

Think about the daily benefits of an organised bedroom. You don’t have to worry about misplacing anything or stressing over a lost item. You find all your belongings in their proper locations and resume your day without interruption. 

Now apply that scenario to an auto body shop. You need to run a tight ship and know each tool’s assigned place. Bookkeeping is also essential for auto work. Record the day’s expenses and payments in detail and save your receipts. Don’t ever overlook these organisational tasks.


5. Professional Attitude

Auto professionals spend a considerable amount of time interacting with customers, and they aren’t always pleasant. You need to have a patient, professional attitude in the workplace to handle these interactions without compromising your work. Most people don’t know their vehicles as well as they should, so you must calmly explain the situation without sounding arrogant or condescending.

You must also have the ability to give bad news. Some problems might be worse than anticipated, and it’s your job as the professional to gently tell the vehicle’s owner. On the bright side, you also get to deliver good news and inform customers that their cars are working properly. Professionalism goes both ways.


Got the Skills? Gain the Experience

You can acquire all these skills required in the auto industry without formal training or work experience. Many automotive professionals start their careers as hobbies and build these skills on their own without the help of higher education. 

If you have what it takes, search roles in the automotive industry now


Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates from the Modded team.