Trades & Services

Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, security, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Automotive Electrician do?

Automotive electricians install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, security, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.

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Work activities

As an automotive electrician, your main tasks would include:

  • taking readings, using a laptop or hand-held device connected to an engine's electronic control unit (found in newer vehicles)
  • checking and testing wiring and parts in older vehicles using portable instruments
  • using the readings to find faults
  • researching faults, using manufacturers' circuit diagrams and specification manuals
  • repairing or replacing faulty parts
  • retesting the system to make sure everything is working correctly and safely (this may include road testing the vehicle)
  • filling out a repair sheet detailing the work you have done.

You would work with a variety of electronic systems including:

  • electronic ignitions, alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices
  • electric windows, mirrors and seats, towbar electrics and air-conditioning
  • customised LED or neon lighting kits, parking warning systems and reversing cameras.

You would also deal with in-car phones, TV, and audio and DVD players. You could specialise in light vehicles (cars, vans and motorcycles) or heavy vehicles (trucks, buses and coaches). If you work for a motor manufacturer, you may work on one particular vehicle model.

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Key skills and interests

To become an automotive electrician, you would need:

  • good practical skills for using a range of tools and electronic instruments
  • the ability to work methodically and pay close attention to detail
  • good problem-solving skills
  • the ability to read electrical wiring diagrams
  • the ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • good communication and customer care skills.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would normally work standard hours, Monday to Friday. If your company operates a 24-hour breakdown or emergency service, you might have to work shifts or be on call.

Conditions

You would be based in a garage or workshop. If your job includes call out duties, you would also work outside in all weather conditions

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How to become an Automotive Electrician?

Entry Level Education

To become an automotive electrician you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Automotive Electrical Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school or equivalent.

Certification for automotive electricians varies by State, but will require some form of licence. Contact your relevant State department for further information.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of automotive electricians is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The number of vehicles in use continues to rise, and the increasing lifespan of late-model cars and light trucks will further increase demand for qualified workers.

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