Is Auto Manufacturing a Good Career Path?

Auto manufacturing is the process of building and assembling vehicles. Since automobiles are a necessary part of our lives, whether we’re commuting to work or on road trips with friends, it’s easy to understand why the automotive industry has long been one of the largest employers in America.

Raw materials like metal and plastic are first melted into liquid form in the auto-manufacturing process before being poured into molds to create pieces like engine blocks or fenders.

These components are manufactured by laborers using extremely specialized machinery before being put together into subassemblies (groups of parts) and final assemblies (the completed product). These finished vehicles are then delivered to showrooms where customers can buy them.

In this article, we will discuss what auto manufacturing is and talk about career and employment prospects in the industry to help you learn more about it.

For many automotive enthusiasts, working in auto manufacturing would be the fulfillment of a lifelong goal. Although there are no entrance barriers, there is a large and growing need for new employees in the automobile business because it is so interesting and adaptable.

Consider a job in the auto manufacturing business if you have a strong enthusiasm for automobiles and an inventive work style. This industry offers occupations ranging from entry-level positions to high-paying careers and is involved in the production of motor vehicles and their corresponding components. 

A profession in vehicle manufacturing might offer advantages like chances for progress and the capacity to discover joy in developing novel items.

The manufacture of motor vehicles, such as cars and trucks, falls under the umbrella of the auto manufacturing sector. While those in this industry frequently produce entire automobiles, they may also supervise the production of particular parts like engines and bodywork.

The production methods used by manufacturers are frequently optimized to cut expenses for the business and maintain the caliber of the finished product. Their objective is to maximize a vehicle’s safety as well as its effectiveness and efficiency. Job responsibilities in this industry can include everything from managing quality assurance programs and supervising assembly lines to marketing finished goods.

Is a Career in Auto Manufacturing a Good Path?

There are several reasons why a career in auto production may be useful for someone:

Good earning potential

The average annual wage for all positions involved in the manufacture of motor vehicles is $59,970, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This amount enables people in this profession to have a typical earning potential because it is just a little higher than the average pay of $58,260 per year for all jobs. 

Keep in mind that compensation can vary depending on your employment and area. By completing training programs or earning relevant certifications, you might position yourself as a more valuable employee in the auto manufacturing sector, which could increase your pay.

New openings

Due to the automotive industry growth, the BLS forecasts 73,300 openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics annually, even though some segments of the auto manufacturing industry may see little or no employment growth between 2021 and 2031. Its expansion could be brought on by the requirement to replace workers who retire or move on to other businesses.

Compared to the 1% rate for automotive service technicians and mechanics, the job growth rate for vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers is slightly higher at 4%. 

If you’re applying for a job where competition is fierce, think about standing out from the crowd by emphasizing your education, credentials, and professional experience in the auto manufacturing industry.

Satisfying work

Many workers in the auto manufacturing sector enjoy meaningful employment because they get to use daily problem-solving, creative, and innovative abilities. Those who are enthusiastic about cars frequently recognize how important it is for their labor to have tangible results.

Also, working in the auto industry can be rewarding because it gives you the chance to explore and advance quickly in advancing technologies. To provide customers with additional convenience and prioritize their safety, you could develop artificial intelligence software. Working with electric vehicles enables you to create high-performance automobiles while also creating technologies that contribute to environmental protection.

Opportunities for advancement

Due to the low entrance requirements for several occupations, the vehicle manufacturing industry is comparatively easy to enter. For instance, candidates with a high school diploma or another comparable degree are frequently accepted for technician employment. 

You can gain on-the-job training in these entry-level professions to get ready for higher-level careers. If you have the necessary expertise, you might be able to apply for jobs as a plant supervisor or a quality assurance inspector.

Although a job in the auto industry may be long-term, it’s important to keep in mind that your experience can be applied to other fields. This flexibility enables you to grow professionally and ensures that your career objectives are in line with your interests. 

Take your position as a quality assurance specialist for car manufacturing, for instance. You may apply to work as a quality assurance specialist for a company in a different industry if you decided you no longer wanted to work with cars. Your abilities would probably be of interest to the new company, which would see you as a strong prospect during the hiring process

Different career paths

Because the auto manufacturing sector offers a variety of professional possibilities, it attracts people from all backgrounds. To discover a job that matches your skills and interests, you might research various opportunities. You might find employment in sales, service, administration, or management in addition to car assembly.

What Do People Who Work in Auto Manufacturing Do?

Technicians, plant managers, inspectors, and other people can work in the auto industry. Working in the auto manufacturing sector, from vehicle production to the assembly of car and truck parts, you contribute to maintaining the efficiency and safety of the entire process.

Engineers and technicians are in charge of operating equipment, putting parts together, and carrying out regular maintenance. To guarantee correct quality and safety requirements, you must inspect each component if you work in quality assurance. As a supervisor, you can be in charge of manufacturing or assembly. You will also be selling the finished product through sales.

Jobs in the Auto Manufacturing Industry

Automotive industry salaries vary greatly depending on the job. Some positions in the auto industry pay more than others when they call on individuals to bring in expertise that is in high demand. Following is a list of 16 positions in the auto manufacturing industry along with their average salaries and main responsibilities.

New automotive industry trends include driverless autonomous cars and cars that run on batteries rather than fossil fuels. These two trends will impact the industry creating opportunities.

1) Technician for Vehicle Restoration

The national average yearly wage is ​$46,880. A vehicle restoration technician’s main responsibilities revolve around fixing vintage cars. They could specialize in a craft like upholstery or restore complete automobiles. Ordering genuine components and designing unique projects in accordance with client preferences are among the responsibilities.

2) Technician for Vehicle Assembly

The average annual wage in the country is $45,458. A vehicle assembly technician’s duties assist in the assembly of cars, trucks, and motorbikes during the production process. They may install HVAC systems or build switches, motors, and wire harnesses.

3) A Production Worker

The average annual wage in the country is $38,162. A production associate’s main responsibilities are creating, assembling, and testing goods or their components in a manufacturing plant. They typically participate in an assembly line and may carry out tasks like packing shipments, utilizing soldering equipment and applying labels to finished goods.

4) Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) Operator

The nation’s average yearly salary is $56,082. A coordinate measuring machine (CMM) operator’s primary duty is to use CMM programs to precisely measure items while welding. Interpreting designs, checking finished goods, and remaining current with manufacturing facility standards are just a few of the responsibilities.

5) Process Technician

The yearly pay for the entire country is $51,038. The process technician’s main responsibilities include supervising engineering and manufacturing activities to help production facilities. They might conduct inspections, put safety procedures into place, and evaluate production schedules to maximize efficiency.

6) Manufacturing Operator

The average yearly wage in the country is $34,040. A factory operator’s main responsibilities include maintaining production machinery to guarantee the secure manufacture of superior products. They might use mechanical machines, run computer-controlled machinery, and carry out normal maintenance.

7) Technician

The national average salary is $38,042 per year. The main obligations: A mechanic works on trucks, vans, and other motorized vehicles. They carry out normal vehicle maintenance by rotating tires, lubricating components, and changing fluids in addition to repairing and replacing broken parts.

8) General Manager of a Dealership

The national average salary is $128,488 per year. A dealership general manager’s main responsibilities include managing a business that sells cars. By encouraging teams to meet sales targets and supervising marketing plans, they make sure the dealership reaches its long-term commercial objectives.

9) Production Manager

The national average yearly salary is $77,817. A production supervisor’s primary duties include managing the operations of a manufacturing facility. They might also make timetables, conduct performance reviews, assign tasks to team members, and set goals for every stage of the production process.

10) Automotive Body Technician

The yearly average pay in the country is $68,346. An auto body repair technician’s main responsibilities include the restoration of a vehicle’s appearance. Auto body repair specialists evaluate the damage following collisions, place orders for compatible parts, carry out welding activities, and refinish surfaces.

11) Vehicle Service Manager

Process DesignerThe average yearly wage in the country is $66,413. An automobile service manager’s key responsibilities include managing the division responsible for customer car maintenance and repairs. They could manage the parts inventory, assess the mechanical requirements of various vehicles, manage personnel, and keep an eye on operating costs.

12) Auto Sales Manager

The average yearly wage in the country is $99,646. A car sales executive’s main responsibilities include assisting consumers in buying new cars. Depending on the client’s requirements, they could make vehicle recommendations and put them in touch with the best financing solutions.

13) Competence Engineer

The average yearly wage in the country is $74,955. A quality engineer’s main responsibilities include making sure that a manufacturing facility complies with established standards for both the production process and the finished goods. 

In addition, monitoring employee training programs, recording production problems, remaining current on regulatory requirements, and examining customer feedback to find defects are just a few of the responsibilities.‍

14) Automotive Service Advisor

The national average yearly salary is $51,070. The primary obligations: Automotive consultants provide guidance to a variety of clientele, including car dealers and manufacturers. They may assess consumer needs, recommend top-notch suppliers, and find methods to cut prices.

15) Engineer in Automotive Design

The average pay in the country is $90,079 per year. The primary duties are the designs for motor vehicles like cars, buses, and motorbikes made by an automotive design engineer. They research consumer preferences and make design decisions about everything from the external body to the inside cabin.

16) Process Designer

The national average yearly salary: is $89,765. A process engineer’s main responsibilities include ensuring the effectiveness of a manufacturing facility’s production techniques. Raw material acquisition, equipment upkeep, personnel safety oversight, and report submission to senior management are all responsibilities.

Best Colleges for Automotive Engineering

Let’s begin this list now that the foundation has been established. The institutions listed below are arranged by acceptance rate.

1) Northern Montana State University

The acceptance rate is 100 %. Students at Montana State University Northern can enroll in the Automotive Technology program to achieve a Bachelor’s degree, an Associate’s degree, or a minor in the field while receiving instruction from Master ASE-certified technicians. 

Moreover, the university provides technician training supported by the automotive industry for Ford, Subaru, and Maintenance and Light Repair.

On the other hand, MSU-Northern grants degrees in Mechanical Engineering that are recognized by ABET.

2) University of Weber State

The acceptance rate is 100 %. The Department of Automotive Technology at Weber State University provides a variety of degrees and certificates, including bachelor’s degrees in advanced vehicle systems and field service operations. Moreover, students have the option of choosing an Associate’s degree in Independent Shop ATEP or Heavy Duty Vehicles.

Moreover, Weber awards two certificates: one in industry hybrids and one in automotive service technology.

3) Utah Valley College

The acceptance rate is 100 %. Providing courses in Auto Tech, Collision Mechanics, Street Rod, and Power Sports, Utah Valley University’s Department of Transportation Technology offers associate degrees, certifications, and diplomas across the board.

UVU holds a Car Fair to raise money for scholarships for its Transportation Technology students.

4) University Northwestern of Ohio

High acceptance rate. The College of Applied Sciences and the College of Occupational Professions at the University of Northwestern Ohio offer a variety of alternatives to students. The Automotive Technology program at UNOH offers diplomas, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees, and all of its courses are instructed by ASE- and Master-certified instructors.

Moreover, students have the option of majoring in High-Performance Automotive Technology or Automotive Management.

5) Idaho State University

The acceptance rate is 99%. The Faculty of Science and Engineering, at Idaho State University, provides a number of programs for technicians. 

The Associate of Applied Science Degree and Advanced Technical Certificate in Automotive Technology is just the beginning for students; they can also choose from three certificate choices and an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing.

6) Pittsburg State University

The acceptance rate is 87%. Within the Kansas Technology Center, Pittsburg State University’s Department of Technology confers a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology. The emphasis on Automotive Mechanical Design is another option for majors who want to “go deep into the subject of autos from bumper to bumper.” 

PSU has a 32,000-square-foot automotive laboratory, 40 donated cars, and all the tools they require. Within the Department of Technology, the institution also provides conventional Engineering degrees.

7)  University of Central Missouri

There is an 86% acceptance rate. Three areas—automotive technology (obviously), design technology, and service management—are the core of the Bachelor of Science in Automotive Technology Management (ATM) program at the University of Central Missouri. Moreover, they provide a minor in Automotive Technology and a certificate in Advanced Vehicle Systems.

Students in the program work on UCM-owned vehicles in lab settings for a number of hours each week.

8) Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

81% of applicants are accepted. The Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI is the first university in the US to offer a Bachelor of Science in Motorsports. Students are equipped to take part in the racing sector thanks to an engineering curriculum that combines vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, data collecting, and other topics.

Students can also choose a dual degree in Motorsports and Mechanical Engineering for an additional 26 credits if they want to please Mom.

9) University of Texas at Arlington

80% of applicants are accepted. The Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Texas at Arlington is housed in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and focuses on building automobiles, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. 

Students can apply to work in academic labs, join the UTA Racing Formula SAE team, or receive practical work experience through the Co-op/Internship Office.

Via the Arnold E. Petsche Center for Automotive Engineering’s Automotive Engineering Certificate program, students can demonstrate their dedication to the automotive industry.

10) Pennsylvania College of Technology

80% of applicants are accepted. The Pennsylvania College of Technology offers degrees in all areas of the automotive industry that you might be interested in. Three bachelor’s degree programs in science are available: Automotive Technology Management (online and on-campus); Automotive Service, Sales, and Marketing; and Automotive Technology. For applicants who already hold an Associate’s Degree from a university or community college, they also provide an online option.

With collaborations with each firm, the Pennsylvania College of Technology provides three specialized majors within the Automotive Technology degree for Ford ASSET, Honda PACT, and MOPAR CAP.

Students at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology have the opportunity to obtain up to 8 industry certifications, including the ASE certification. The college also grants certificates for becoming an Automobile Service Technician and an Aftermarket Performance Specialist, respectively.

11) The Ferris State University

78% of applicants are accepted. The automotive-focused programs offered by Ferris State University include a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology (AET) and a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Management (AMGT), the latter of which can be pursued as a minor.

For the two bachelor’s degrees, students will complete an on-the-job internship in addition to hands-on laboratory experience in metallurgy, mechanical testing, automotive emissions, and dynamometer testing.

Moreover, FSU offers two certificate programs in automotive, one in machinery and the other in motorsports.

How to Find a Job in the Automobile Manufacturing Industry

Although finding a job can take time and effort, working in the car manufacturing industry can be quite lucrative. In most places, there is not much open employment, and companies could require a particular background.

The following advice can help you improve your chances:

  1. Get a solid knowledge and skill base by earning a relevant degree in engineering, manufacturing, or a related sector.
  2. Take advantage of industry internships and co-op opportunities to acquire relevant experience.
  3. By going to industry gatherings and job fairs, you may network and build relationships. To learn more about positions and discover new chances, speak with people who are employed in the sector.
  4. To make yourself stand out in the employment market, think about obtaining credentials (such as those from manufacturers).
  1. Once you have a strong educational foundation and relevant experience, apply to jobs that match your interests and skills.
  2. To increase your chances of getting an interview, customize your cover letter and CV for each position and employer.

Why Consider a Career in Automotive Manufacturing?

  • Opportunity for growth: Most auto manufacturing occupations provide lots of opportunities for improvement and promotion. With a high school graduation or GED in hand, you can enter this industry fast while learning on the job.
  • High-tech workplace: The automotive and transportation industries are evolving quickly. You have the chance to lead this emerging movement by working in this sector.
  • Many career options: Building cars is only one aspect of the auto manufacturing industry. If you’re interested in working in this industry, you can look into a number of various careers, such as management, administration, sales, and service.
  • Acquire new skills: Employees in the vehicle manufacturing sector must be familiar with the product from top to bottom. Working in the car industry will provide you with fascinating new skills if you appreciate dealing with vehicles.

What Are the Advantages?

Jobs in the auto industry offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Health protection
  • Dental protection
  • Life assurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid time off, such as sick days and vacations.

Also, you’ll get access to employee discounts on automobiles and other goods produced by the parent firm of your company.

Is a Career in Auto Manufacturing Rewarding?

The industry provides excellent chances for professional growth and expansion in terms of size and breadth. 

The average annual compensation for auto manufacturing occupations, which are in great demand and well-paying, is $77K, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS anticipates a 14% increase in job growth for this sector between 2016 and 2026.

Designing, constructing, testing, and selling vehicles or trucks built from steel pieces stamped out by machines run by people like themselves is a wonderful career choice for persons who appreciate working with their hands and enjoy watching their ideas come together.‍

Conclusion

If you’re seeking a challenging and rewarding job, think about working in the auto industry. Many opportunities are available in the sector, including work in production, engineering, and design. 

In the industry of auto manufacturing, workers assemble cars. Field employees supervise and provide assistance during every step of the vehicle manufacturing process. To build a car, they don’t just put pieces together. To ensure that the car is in good functioning order, they also examine and check it.

To evaluate the caliber of a manufactured vehicle, they also carry out quality assurance surveys. Yet, there are positions available for everyone who wishes to work in the automobile sector.

If you are interested in cars and how they are made, working in manufacturing is an excellent choice!

Also, you may find employment in sales and marketing or as an administrator supporting regular operations. Keep in mind that every position within this business contributes to making vehicles safer as you decide which career path is best for you. These are fantastic choices regardless of your personality because they reduce emissions at same time, protecting our environment.

A bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is required to work in this field as a process engineer or design engineer. It will be beneficial if you have a college degree. Yet, the majority of mechanics hold a high school diploma. With a relevant college degree, you can also explore careers in the industry of sales and marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest-paid job in the automotive industry?

Automotive service manager, auto body technician, auto estimator, car sales executive, industrial designer, truck driver, mechanical designer, and diesel technician are among the 10 high-paying positions in the automotive sector with yearly earnings exceeding $60,000.

Is There A Future In The Automotive Industry?

The auto business offers countless opportunities. The automobile industry is one of the best in terms of long-term industries. Moreover, communication and electrification are the two main developments. These two are the main trends, but there are other driven technologies and political changes.

Is Manufacturing A Good Career Path?

There are many advantages, and manufacturing is a lucrative professional choice. There is numerous full-time employment that includes health insurance and contributions to retirement plans. But, if you’re interested in salaries, those vary depending on the employer, the region, and the level of expertise. If you are in the bottom line, though, you still need not worry. Easy access to a nice life is available. Also, a career in manufacturing is a wise decision.

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