4 Different Career Paths for Motor Vehicle Workers

Contributed to jobs.net by Kim Evans

Are you fascinated by motor vehicles? Do you obsessively keep up with the latest news and trends related to cars, trucks and SUVs? If you have a special affinity for automobiles, the right set of skills, and you're also searching for a job, perhaps an auto-related career path would be a great fit for you. To find out, you will first need to identify which road will lead you toward a long, fulfilling career.

There are many different types of occupations related to automobiles, and many of these jobs can be sorted under one of four distinct categories listed below. See if you can spot the occupational category that fits your background and professional aspirations, then set your course for success.

Road sign indicating four directions to take

(Occupational information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

In the Factory or Garage

Here, professionals build, diagnose or repair automobiles. These mechanically minded folks typically work with their hands, and occupations include automotive service technicians, master mechanics and engineering technicians.

Automotive Service Technician: Diagnose, adjust, repair or overhaul automotive vehicles of all kinds.

Education Required

training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience or an associate's degree

Employer (2010)

723,000

Projected Job Growth (2010-2020)

10% to 19%

Median wages (2011)

$17.39/hr

 

On the Road Itself

This "workplace" belongs to those who work from behind the wheel, typically transporting and delivering goods or passengers. Common occupations include bus and taxi drivers, delivery services drivers and commercial driver's license (CDL) truck drivers.

CDL Truck Driver: Drive a heavy truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for the purpose of hauling and delivering cargo.

Education Required

high school diploma

Employer (2010)

1.6 million

Projected Job Growth (2010-2020)

20% to 28%

Median wages (2011)

$18.24/hr

 

In the Office

Professionals who excel at customer-focused services make this place their home away from home. These folks are generally great communicators and they represent the face of their company. Occupations include customer support specialists, sales consultants and account executives.

Customer Support Specialist: Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Education Required

high school diploma

Employer (2010)

2.2 million

Projected Job Growth (2010-2020)

10% to 19%

Median wages (2011)

$14.72/hr

 

In Any of the Above Locations

Members of this category lead workers from the other three categories. Often, these individuals at one time worked on the road, in the garage or in the sales office, and acquired the experience and skills necessary to move upward into a management role. It follows that common occupations include driver managers, operations supervisors and sales managers.

Operations Supervisor: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers.

Education Required

training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience or an associate's degree

Employer (2010)

199,000

Projected Job Growth (2010-2020)

10% to 19%

Median wages (2011)

$25.45/hr

 

The occupations highlighted here represent a mere glimpse into the enormous workforce dedicated to the production, operation, sales and leadership efforts within the automotive and transportation industries. Many other specialties exist, which opens the door for additional employment opportunities. Keep in mind that even if you've never worked in the auto or transportation industries, many of the skills required for these four career paths are easily transferrable from your experience in other industries. So, rev your job-search engine and place your auto-related career pursuits in the fast lane.

Examining your background, which of these four roads provides the most natural fit for your skill set and work experience? Which skills stand out to you as transferrable and the most marketable to an employer in the auto or transportation industries? Tell us what you think!



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