Careers

Automotive Technology Careers



Automotive Technology Education

Explore The Many Careers in Auto Technology

The field of automotive technology is such a broad and diverse industry, that it allows for significant felexibility when choosing to specialize in a particular career. Below, we explore several of the many career options available for those choosing to pursue a career in the field of automotive technology.


Hybrid Vehicle Technician Career Description

Because most hybrid vehicles have both a gasoline engine and electric engine, hybrid car technicians perform many of the same tasks as those who work solely on non-hybrid vehicles (i.e. gasoline and other alternative fuels). As such, if pursuing a career in hybrid vehicle repair, familiarizing oneself with combustion engines can often prove to be a very helpful skill.

Repairing or installing hybrid-electric vehicle batteries requires extensive knowledge of how lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries and automotive systems interact. Furthermore, special training and familiarity with voltages and battery identification are critical to possess. As more hybrid-electric vehicles continue to hit the roads and older hybrid-electric vehicle batteries begin to require replacement, this is one area of career growth that we expect to continue to grow.

The technological makeup of hybrid vehicles are more complex than gasoline vehicles. Major differences include high voltage batteries (650 volts vs. 12-14 volts for gasoline counterparts), regenerative braking and sophisticated hydraulic systems. As one may expect, these advanced electronic vehicle components require hybrid vehicle technicians to also have adequate electrical expertise.

Electric Vehicle Technician Career Description

Fully electric vehicles require most of the same routine vehicle maintenance as non-electric-vehicles do. Much of this routine maintenance and repair work can be done by those untrained to work on electric vehicles, with the exception of the electrical systems and unique drivetrain. Electric Vehicle Technicians should be familiar with integrated electronic systems and complex onboard computers. In addition, they may replace hydraulically assisted systems with electric–powered systems, such as power-steering pumps or air-conditioning compressors, to improve operating range. Fixing problems with these systems requires workers to use computerized shop equipment and work with electronic components as well as traditional hand tools.

Repairing or installing electric vehicle batteries requires extensive knowledge of how lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries and automotive systems interact. Furthermore, special training and familiarity with voltages and battery identification are critical to possess. As more electric vehicles continue to hit the roads and older electric vehicle batteries begin to require replacement, this is one area of career growth that we expect to continue to grow.

As automotive technology advancements continue to make our vehicles more sophisticated, formal training requirements are becoming increasingly more important. Technologies vary from vehicle to vehicle, so technicians are generally trained and specialize in vehicles made by a single manufacturer. Training typically begins in high school or a postsecondary vocational school or community college. Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is usually required to work for larger repair shops or at dealerships. Auto manufacturers typically provide this specialized training to technicians and mechanics. Workers are usually sent by their employers to formal training courses to gain certification on a particular vehicle type.