Whether you’re under the hood or behind the register, the auto industry has a job for you.
When you think about automotive jobs, a few images usually come to mind: winding assembly lines moving with clock-like precision, well heeled salesmen strolling the lot with customers in tow, and even crash test dummies not the monotone ’90s one-hit wonder band the life-saving impact testers.
This incomplete picture only scratches the surface. Think about this: Despite an always-expanding public transportation system, the number of cars in the United States has increased every year since 1960. Currently, there are about 250 million registered cars on American highways, country roads and tucked into garages, according to the Department of Transportation. That equals a ton of jobs. (And it equals 500 million tons of car.)
In the hourly job industry alone, there’s a great variety of automotive positions, jobs that are increasingly available online through job websites like SnagAJob.com. Contrary to popular belief, these auto gigs aren’t just Detroit jobs; you’re just as likely to find Baltimore jobs and Seattle jobs in the automotive industry. And the demand for auto technicians and customer service workers in companies such as Goodyear, Jiffy Lube and Valvoline is especially high. If you’re a hands-on worker with a high mechanical I.Q. and you don’t mind the smell of 10W-30 oil in the morning, then these gigs could be right up your alley.
As an auto technician, you’re also going to need to perform a fair share of customer service. Whether you’re collecting info from customers about what’s wrong with their car or you’re explaining the diagnosis and available options, you should be comfortable talking to and interacting with strangers. And for when you’re calling to tell drivers that they need a new transmission, practice delivery of this key phrase, “The good news is the glove compartment works…”
Heck, if you don’t know how to fix a car but you sure love driving one, then you might want to look for a job that puts you behind the wheel. Check out companies including 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and FedEx for driver job opportunities. Of course, there’s also the pizza delivery route, too, if you have your own reliable transportation.
If you don’t know how to fix a car but you want to learn how, you’re also in luck. Many auto industry employers offer paid training training you can use in the real world. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if a mechanic is trying to stick it to you, or even better, if you could save loads of cash by maintaining and fixing your vehicle on your own? On-the-job training not only improves your skills, it also gets you working in the car repair industry sooner. And the more you know the more valuable you become to your current employer (plus it makes your next job search easier).
Ever since Henry Ford rolled the first Model T off the assembly line in 1908, hard working Americans have earned their keep in the automotive industry. And while movies and sci-fi writing teased us about streets full of hover skateboards and push-button teleporting, that’s not going to change any time soon.