Whatever your background, interests, abilities, or qualifications, the motor trade offers a wide range of job options with plenty of opportunities to advance your career and add to your existing skills.
Office and administrative roles
If you enjoy customer facing roles, or prefer to work behind the scenes, car dealerships require managers and sales people who are friendly and outgoing, as well as knowledgeable about the cars they sell. To keep things running smoothly, they also need staff for accounting, stock control, and other administrative tasks. Motor manufacturers will usually have a head office and several regional offices. If you are trying to get started in the industry, or if you already have a specialism, like accountancy, and would like to move into the vehicle sector, this is a good place to look.
Hands on roles
If you’re looking for a practical career, this is a great industry to choose. Some jobs require qualifications, but others allow you to learn on the job with many companies offering apprenticeship schemes, letting you pick up skills and work towards qualifications while earning money. Vehicle manufacture in the UK is on the rise, with 1.7 million cars made in the country in 2016. While large firms use mass production, smaller companies produce luxury or specialist vehicles that may require handmade, one off parts.
Vehicle repair covers a number of fields. Small and Medium Area Repair Technique (or SMART), is a popular way of treating minor damage, like chipped paintwork, often at the customer’s home rather than a workshop. This may even be included in a driver’s insurance policy. Body shops work on more significant damage, like dented panels, while garages deal with servicing and mechanical or electrical faults. Dealerships may provide servicing and repairs to the model of car they sell.
Specialist roles also include glazing technicians, who repair or replace car windows and windscreens, and tyre technicians, who replace damaged tyres and ensure wheels and tyres are safe to drive on. If you work for a breakdown service, you’ll need to be familiar with recognising and fixing a large number of mechanical problems. Petrolheads who like the idea of driving the latest cars might find it rewarding to work as a driver for a dealership, transporting vehicles to their new owners, as it’s a great opportunity to experience a wide range of cars.
Designers in the industry are responsible for everything from the look of a brand new model of car, to the design on the seat fabric and the logo on the rear. Motor journalism requires a keen interest in cars, whether you write for specialist trade publications, consumer magazines, or the national press. Vehicle manufacturers and dealerships need copywriters for brochures, in house magazines and press releases. There is also a need for website designers, developers, and social media experts.
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As congestion and pollution charges are introduced, and people are encouraged to seek alternative modes of transport, the future of the motor trade might look uncertain. However, innovations in vehicle technology are creating new roles all the time. The introduction of driverless cars is predicted to create 320,000 new jobs in the UK alone, many in manufacturing.
With the UK vehicle industry focused firmly on the future, it’s a great time to choose a career in motoring.