If you have a strong background in engineering and technology and want to explore career options in the automotive industry, consider a career as an automotive electrician. Automotive electricians are responsible for performing maintenance work and repairs on a vehicle’s starter system, lights, indicators and other electrical components. They typically work as part of a team of automotive engineers and mechanics in a shop setting, and may be required to use specialized tools and equipment to perform tests and repair electrical systems.
Here’s what you need to know about becoming an automotive electrician:
Automotive Electrician Training Requirements
Aspiring automotive electricians need to take specialized courses related to the electrical parts of a vehicle outside of the ignition system. Automotive repair schools and mechanic training programs that offer automotive electrician training typically offer the following types of courses:
– Electrical Circuits
– Battery Basics
– Relay Systems
– Logic Gates
– Variable Resistors
– Vehicle Control Devices
Many of these courses prepare students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examination. After passing the exam and providing proof of two years of relevant experience, the candidate receives ASE Certification. They must retest to maintain ASE Certification every five years.
Automotive Electrician Tasks and Responsibilities
Automotive electricians do not work only on consumer automobiles. They are trained to diagnose, install and perform maintenance services on electrical systems and wiring of trailers, vans, semi-trucks and other even tractors. Any vehicles that run on an electronic fuel injection system or ignition system may need to be assessed and repaired by an automotive electrician.
The automotive electrician is responsible for replacing faulty equipment, and is trained to use specialized tools, machines and computer software programs to perform diagnostic tests and assessments. Some of the key tasks and responsibilities of an automotive electrician include:
– Overhauling electrical system components
– Testing, servicing and replacing the battery
– Servicing emission control systems
– Repairing and servicing electronic body management and electronic drive systems
– Performing soldering and diagnostic procedures
– Repairing electric braking systems
– Identifying faulty automotive parts or components
Many of the skills needed to become an automotive electrician are learned through an apprenticeship program or through on-the-job training.
According to PayScale.com’s National Pay Data reports for 2010, the average hourly rate for an automotive electrician is between $13.42 to $20.99, and the total pay range is $29,517 to $54,010 depending on experience and industry. Popular industries to find work in this field include heavy duty truck dealerships, car dealerships and transportation companies. Those with advanced skills and training may pursue further education and training in the aviation industry.