Below are links to resources for those interested in pursuing a career in the exciting auto care industry. From manufacturing to service and repair, technology to creative and business positions, the always-viable auto care industry has a career opportunity for everyone.
Helpful information on careers in the auto care industry are included in these fact sheets for:
The most desired skills employers are seeking are critical thinking and problem solving, excellent communication, customer service and people skills (such as relating to others, patience, active listening, flexibility and trusting others), and the ability to work well with others in a team-oriented environment. In a challenging industry like auto care, business savvy and strong math, technical and computer skills are also seen as a plus. The auto care industry operates like a well-oiled machine with many parts contributing to its success, where hard-working, passionate individuals with a strong work ethic are sure to find opportunity.
Education & Training
The need for a two or four-year college degree varies from company to company, and based on industry segment and your desired position. For most companies, a high school diploma or equivalent is a must. In some cases, a college degree is preferred—usually in business, business administration, finance or an equivalent area. The auto care industry consistently has open positions for all types of specialties—marketing, computer science, graphic design, engineering, etc.—most of which require a degree. There are many companies that will also hire high school graduates, as long as they are motivated and passionate about building a career.
Some companies will accept experience in lieu of a degree. An automotive, computer, technical, business or customer service background is preferred, but not always necessary.
Most companies have their own training courses and programs for new employees. ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) certification is often required for repair technicians. SIGMA training for warehouses is desired, but not always necessary. Many companies enable their employees to obtain certification and attend training courses while employed.[/collapse-text][collapse-text title=”Get involved in the Auto Care Industry”]
How to get involved
- Do your homework.
- The auto care industry is a diverse environment with many segments and career opportunities.
- Find out what you like doing and which companies offer that opportunity.
- Research the career options and areas of interest.
- Reach out to people involved in the industry to identify what opportunities exist.
- Meet the professionals.
- Read, study and meet people in the industry to ask them about their perspective of the current and future auto care industry.
- People love to talk about what they do and where they work, and are often open to informational interviews and sharing their expertise.
- Get to know your instructors and advisors. They have knowledge and information to help you through your program and in your job search.
- Get involved in professional associations in your field such as the Society for Automotive Engineers
- Get social.
- Networking is key. Go to mixers, join professional associations, go to meetings and don’t be afraid to meet other industry professionals.
- Join “young professional” network groups or car clubs, check out the Auto Care Association’s Young Auto Care Networking Group (YANG)
- Attend auto care sponsored events to network with others involved in the industry. Check out SkillsUSA and the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX).
- Consider following industry social media channels on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Keep your social media profiles up to date and professional.
- Go the extra mile.
- Volunteer your time at industry events and get your name out there.
- Work part time in an auto-related job to gain applicable experience.
- Courses in high school or a technical college can offer invaluable experience.
- Internship programs are also a great way to experience what a job requires as well as to learn about different companies’ philosophies.
- See what classes a community college is offering in the area you are pursuing. From human resources to information technology, all areas will serve you well in the auto care industry.
Auto care industry program
University of the Aftermarket
The University of the Aftermarket offers general auto care continuing education with courses in management, business, leadership education and development needs tailored specifically to the auto care industry. Learn more about the program.
Looking for a 4 year degree specific to the auto care industry? Northwood University offers a for 4-year degree.
There are automotive technology schools located all over North America, and many universities and community colleges have automotive technology programs as well. Check out your area of interest for an automotive technology school or program.
National Automotive Foundation for Service Excellence (NATEF)
The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) accredits automotive technician training programs nationwide to ensure that students get the best quality of training and development possible. Learn more about the NATEF-accredited schools.
The auto care industry is seeking individuals who have degrees in business, marketing, communications, engineering, finance, government, politics and more. If you are considering one of these fields for your career, check out the auto care industry for available positions.[/collapse-text][collapse-text title=”Scholarships”]The future growth and success of the auto care industry depends on attracting and educating a new generation of global-thinking professionals and qualified personnel. The Auto Care Association supports and actively participates in scholarship activities.
Below are great websites to find scholarships for those interested in the Auto Care industry:
- Auto Care Association & AWDA’s Internship Program
- Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Central
- Car Care Council Women’s Board
- Multi Parts Supply International Aftermarket Scholarship Fund
- Visit industry specific websites:
- Browse job boards:
- Explore individual companies’ websites.
- Research companies in your area or the area you wish to reside. The auto care industry has many large, national companies—such as manufacturers, retailers and distributors—that may have many positions listed. Check the companies’ individual websites for lists of open positions.
- Visit the company where you wish to work.
- Make an appointment for an informational interview with the hiring professional.
- Be prepared with a customized resume. Ask about opportunities and explain how you would be able to help the company.
- Visit career fairs or centers.
- Check with local college or high school career centers or other organizations that may sponsor career fairs.
- Check your local newspaper, chamber of commerce or state employment office for listings.
- Many companies in the auto care industry are small or medium-sized, and may rely on these resources due to the small size of their human resource staff.
- Leverage word of mouth.
- Check with friends and relatives who work for companies in the auto care business about openings.
- Auto care companies like to hire based on personal referrals.
- Use search engines, such as Google or Bing.
- Search the title of the job you are seeking along with the words “auto industry” or “auto care industry.”
- Attend military base career fairs.
- If you are leaving the military, check with your base’s career fair about possible opportunities.
- Utilize job placement agencies.
- Work with an agency to find the right match for your interest and skills.