Man soldering with a safety mask on

If you’re looking for an industry that’s lucrative and diverse, then there’s none better than the automotive industry. As we integrate more technology into our cars, we move closer to the edge of a revolution. We are stood between the world of autonomous, electric vehicles and the traditional metal box. As Ken Kelzer of GM suggests, many of the jobs that become highly sought over in the next few years will be aiming to integrate consumer electronics into vehicles.

Yet even if you’re not technically minded, the automotive industry has more than enough career opportunities open to you. As electronics become more central to the cars of the future, more technical engineers are needed to maintain our vehicles. The industry has a bright future in terms of employment prospects. Whether it's automotive sales or manufacturing, opportunities are abound.

Auto Manufacturing

If you’re looking to carve out a future in the automotive industry one of the most expansive areas is that of auto manufacturing. Automakers are constantly on the lookout for talented graduates who have the technical knowledge to be able to design and manufacture the next generation of vehicles.

As innovative companies like Tesla Motors have burst onto the scene, demand for specialist electric vehicles has greatly increased. In other words, we’re standing on the edge of a manufacturing boom. As electric vehicles hit the market, the demand for auto manufacturers will increase dramatically.

With electrical components playing a greater part in our cars, graduates with expertise in that field will be highly sought after. The drive towards consumer electronics in our vehicles is going to change the most sought after skills in the industry, from mechanical knowledge to electrical knowledge.

Auto Technician

As the automotive industry grows in size so will the needs of consumers. As more and more cars need regular repair and maintenance, it will be on the shoulders of auto technicians and mechanics to ensure our future cars stay roadworthy. Of course as electric systems play a bigger part in our cars, technicians will need to know how to fix that too.

Before, a technician would simply oversee mechanical maintenance such as changing tyres and repairing physical problems. In the future, technicians will need a basic knowledge of why LIDAR sensors aren’t working, or why autonomous vehicles aren’t performing correctly. This will force graduates to put their academic knowledge to practical use.

Sales: Auto dealers

For those with the gift of the gab, automotive sales can be an equally lucrative arm of the industry. As more vehicles hit the market there will be a high demand for competent salesmen who can consistently get customers onboard. Unlike more technical jobs in the industry, automotive salesmen will need to call on people skills and persistence in order to do well.

Though a degree can be useful at getting into automotive sales it is not a prerequisite, and this is likely to remain the case in future. Of course all salesmen will need to have a basic understanding of new technologies in the industry, but they won’t have to have the same level of technical knowledge as a technician.

Electrical Engineer

Perhaps one of the most profitable automotive roles of the future is that of the Electrical Engineer. Whereas technicians will be expected to have solid knowledge of electrical components, electrical engineers will need to be absolute specialists. As advanced AI and 3D technologies come further into play, we’ll need specialist engineers to keep them up and running.

Those aspiring to make a financial killing in the automotive industry would do well from developing their electrical knowledge to position themselves as experts in technological niches. In future more graduates will be opting for a vocational path attempting to learn everything about a specific automotive technology rather than more generalist knowledge.

The Future is Electric

The changes that have struck the automotive industry in the last 50 years have been astounding, but they are nothing compared to what’s to come in future. Electric components, self-driving cars and a wave of manufacturing are going to revitalise the industry and promote widespread growth. The result is a wealth of new graduate opportunities.

One of the biggest changes is that the engineers of the future are expected not only to be mechanically competent, but electronically knowledgeable as well. Many of today’s mechanics that work in every town in the country may in the future lack the technical expertise to repair and maintain the complex electrical systems.

As a result, a new wave of talented engineers will be called on to keep us on the road.