How to Become a Parts Advisor
Although there are various qualifications which can be obtained for this position, no formal one is required, allowing anyone with an interest and experience in the motor trade to become a Parts Advisor.
Starting as an apprentice will allow you to acquire the basic knowledge and hands-on skills to pave the way in to this position. You will need a good technical understanding and knowledge of how motor vehicles work, be confident working alone and must be able to use your own initiative. Strong communication skills are very important as you will deal directly with customers, manufacturers and suppliers whilst also processing payments for orders. The position of Parts Advisor is an interesting one which includes problem solving, so keeping up-to-date with industry updates and manufacturer information is essential.
What Does the Job Involve?
The job can vary from one employer to another, but generally you will be responsible for managing a wide range of motor vehicle accessories and parts. This includes advising customers on the best way to resolve their motoring problems and encouraging regular vehicle maintenance, this is important as delaying vehicle care can affect the validity of an insurance policy should an accident occur. Customers can place orders either by telephone, email or face to face, so you need to be both flexible and versatile, you will also be required to liaise with staff members, garages and dealership service departments, raise the appropriate invoices and ensure the VAT is correctly itemised. An extremely important role of the Parts Advisor (otherwise known as a Vehicle Parts Operative), is to maintain a well-stocked inventory that’s kept organised, so you know where each item is stored.
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Career Progression, Working Hours and Salary
The average wage for a Trainee Parts Advisor (apprentice) is between £6,000 and £8,000 per year, but there is an opportunity to be promoted to a Parts Manager which would lead to an increase in salary. Once fully trained this could increase to a salary of up to £20,000, increasing further as you become more experienced. Full time work is standard within the motor trade at around 40 hours a week, and part time work is also available. Depending on your employer, there could be a rota system in place which would involve working some evenings and weekends.