Are you an auto enthusiast — and a future electrician? If you’re into cars and everything electric, take a look at what you need to know about the automotive electrician specialization.

What Is an Auto Electrician Professional?

Auto electricians do exactly what the name says — they’re electricians who work on automobiles. Instead of residential electrical installations, wiring, and other similar job-related activities, these expert electricians work on cars.

The automotive electrician has specialized knowledge of vehicle-related electrical systems. These include everything from computerized onboard equipment to lights and alarm systems. This type of electrician may install the vehicle’s electrical system, diagnose problems, or make repairs.

Along with these job duties, some auto electricians make custom car modifications such as sound system wiring, GPS installation, or enhanced lighting.

Even though auto electricians work on cars and other vehicles, this job differs from other vehicle maintenance or repair career tracks. As a specialized electrician, you won’t conduct general care inspections or repair other parts of the car (such as the brakes, engine, or exhaust).

Where Do Auto Electricians Work?

These specialized electricians work in a variety of settings. As an automotive professional, you may work for a vehicle manufacturer, car dealer, service center, or custom car shop. If you choose this specialty, you’ll have your pick of places to work. But that doesn’t mean you’ll work in a traditional electrical environment.

You may work alongside auto mechanics and other repair personnel. As a team member, you’ll contribute to the electrical aspects of the diagnostic and repair processes.

Unlike residential or commercial electricians, auto specialists won’t work in someone else’s home or office building. If you prefer a non-traditional type of electrical environment, an auto-focused career is an option to seriously explore.

Are There Jobs for Electricians in the Automotive Field?

Simply stated — yes. As a whole, the electrical field is expected to grow between 2018 and 2028. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field may grow at a faster than average rate of 10 percent. This is an additional 74,100 jobs.

Even though the 74,000-plus jobs aren’t all in the automotive field, the faster than average growth projection may mean you’ll find your pick of dream positions. If you’re still not sure how to get a job as an auto electrician or where to look for employment, discuss the possibilities with a mentor who already works in the field or with an instructor at an electrical school.

How Do You Become an Auto Electrician?

The first step on your career path is to train as an electrician. While auto electricians are specialists, they also need the basic knowledge that any skilled tradesperson in this field would have. Before you can work as a professional, you’ll need to complete classroom-based training as well as get hands-on experiences.

Your training should include an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is on-the-job training, where you get the chance to learn in a real-world environment from a skilled mentor. Along with general training and experience, auto electricians may need to complete specialized coursework or hands-on apprenticeship programs.

Can You Work as a General Electrician?

What happens if you want to change your career focus or work in a non-auto-related environment? Again, auto electricians need to train as generalists before they specialize in this area. Provided you have the required number of classroom and training hours in the electrical field, you can work as a general residential or commercial electrician.

Are you ready to start your career as a general or auto electrician? Contact the Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati for more information on training and apprenticeship opportunities.