Car Industry Jobs

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October 5, 2021

Saying you ‘work in the car industry’ is a wide paintbrush. Mechanics, designers, lawyers, safety technicians, electricians… It’s a long list. takes a look at some standout jobs in the car industry, what they entail, and what they pay.

Get the gist in 30 seconds
  • The car industry in Australia is pretty hot right now, however, it comes with a caveat – stock shortages.
  • The car industry employs all kinds of skill sets in Australia and around the world.
  • A Service Advisor links motorists and mechanics.
  • Automotive Marketers ensure the right vehicle appeals to the right customers at the right times.
  •  Thank Compliance Engineers for keeping vehicles on Australian roads as safe as they are.
  • Automotive Designers keep cars looking good and working well as they’re responsible for everything from number plate brackets to exhaust notes.

The state of the car industry in Australia

It’s hot. Simple as that. Australians are spending more money on cars in 2021, primarily due to cancelled overseas travel plans and stock shortages.

  • Cancelled overseas travel spending has saved Australians $60 billion a year. Large portions of that money are going to property and vehicles.
  • Stock shortages, caused by high demand, semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions, have driven vehicle prices up (new and used cars).

The impact on the car industry is both good and bad. For example, jobs are in demand. From salespeople to designers to technicians, Australia has a healthy need for employment in the car industry.

On the other hand, the global car industry is facing around US$210 billion in lost revenue due to production disruptions.

Mammoth car maker Toyota, for example, announced extensive factory shutdowns in 2021 to cope. This means delays, lost revenue and potential customers going elsewhere. Toyota isn’t alone.

Car industry jobs

The car industry employs a huge number of people around the world – there’s something for everyone from finance and marketing to design and manufacturing to servicing and repairs. 

Check out the list below to find out more details and match a position to your tastes.

Service Advisor

Low end: $49,000
High end: $90,000

“Ideally, someone familiar with working on cars, who loves customer service, would suit this role.”

What they do

Service Advisors act as a point of contact when customers bring their vehicles to dealers for servicing, maintenance and repairs. They then communicate with technicians to determine the work that needs to be done and again relay the results to the customer upon pickup of their vehicles.

Service Advisors need a solid knowledge of the workings of vehicles as they’ll often have to interpret customer complaints / issues with vehicles into what needs to be fixed.

“My car is making a clicking noise when I accelerate”, for example, needs to be accurately and quickly relayed to technicians. Pricing knowledge is also important.

What kind of people make good Service Advisors?

A keen interest in cars and their components is essential. Ideally, someone familiar with working on cars, who loves customer service, would suit this role. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator too.

When bills add up and motorists complain, you’ll have to explain the reasons for work carried out clearly and rationally. 

Automotive Marketer

Low end: $60,000
High end: $100,000

“Expect to interact with news and car review websites…”
What they do

Marketing is something crucial to the car industry. Most positions involve covering customer touch points so that the vehicle model and brand are portrayed correctly and to the right audience. Note that this role is not a marketing manager, so expect to be attached to projects rather than running them.

Some project examples include imagery and font/text styles in brochures aimed at specific demographics. A marketer might oversee the design of a brochure for new customers and back up the themes with strategic social media campaigns. 

Expect to interact with news and car review websites, work closely with budgets and accounting departments, liaise with the manufacturer and communicate with dealers and even customers directly. Many icons of the car world become as such due to marketers. 

Spelling mistakes, low-quality images and mismatched fonts are mistakes to always avoid.

What kind of people make good Automotive Marketers?

Strong skills in writing and creative design really help as does the understanding and interpretation of data. Marketers need to use digital analytics to constantly improve their branding and customer reach.

With a keen interest in cars’ roles in the lifestyles of different demographics, you’ll make sure when certain people are exposed to a vehicle (e.g. online), they get the right experience.

Compliance Engineer 

Low end: $60,000
High end: $115,000

What they do
“…will adding Australian-spec side-intrusion bars add weight to the vehicle and affect performance?”

The car industry in Australia is dependent on compliance engineers due to our strict car safety laws and regulations.

However, it’s not just safety, it’s also environmental impacts. All vehicles imported into Australia for use on our roads need a compliance plate to show they meet standards.

The roles vary and cover a huge number of aspects. Some compliance engineers are involved in testing new models, others may test modifications or dealer options, and some may fault find and recommend fixes.

You’ll need to detail findings in risk mitigation reports and the costs associated with changing parts of vehicles.

For example, will adding Australian-spec side-intrusion bars add weight to the vehicle and affect performance? This might require prices, kerb weights and acceleration figures to be altered in brochures and online.

What kind of people make good Compliance Engineers?

Like all engineers, you’ll need sharp maths skills and the ability to analyse data and communicate findings. Knowledge and the ability to quickly understand compliance codes and government regulations is also important.

You’ll be good at problem solving and finding solutions while never cutting corners, especially when safety is a concern.

Automotive Designer

Low end: $50,000
High end: $100,000

What they do
“Mains goals often include designing components that are easy and cost effective to manufacture and transport, are safe and don’t impact the environment too much.”

You might be surprised to learn that this role has many positions in Australia. For example, the current model Ford Ranger, the T6 (2011 – present) was both designed and engineered by Ford Australia, headquartered in Melbourne.

The position can include research and development in higher education, for example, working on aerodynamics studies.

Designing parts and components is also a huge part of the role. Manufacturers commonly outsource design needs to smaller, niche and highly skilled companies. Engine hoses, brackets, fuse boxes, all need someone to design them.

Environmental impacts regarding materials, placement of certain materials near heat sources and durability and safety all come to focus for designers and engineers.

Mains goals often include designing components that are easy and cost effective to manufacture and transport, are safe and don’t impact the environment too much.

What kind of people make good Automotive Designers?

A keen eye for detail, patience and the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team all help car designers. 

Fundamentally, you’ll be interested in art and design but also engineering. Compliance with regulations is a huge part of automotive design. 

Roles aren’t just limited to designing the ‘look’ of cars. Caravans, trailers, trucks, busses and their interiors all need these types of skills.

Get into the car industry

If you’re keen to find out more about jobs in the car industry or transfer your current skills into the space, get started.

A quick search on Seek and other online sources can offer more information as can talking to employment and recruitment professionals.

If you don’t have a background in the roles listed above, not to worry. The car industry employs people from all walks of life.

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