Auto Electrician Job Description
An Auto Electrician is an Electrician who specializes in the electric systems contained within automotive vehicles. An Auto Electrician is an expert on all of the systems in your car that you only notice when something goes wrong. Your headlights, diagnostic lights, alarm system, circuit board, alternator and starter motor all fall under the Auto Electrician’s domain of expertise.
The role of Auto Electrician is a blue-collar position, and it’s perfect for those who love to work with their hands. This is a job that involves constant activity, so it is perfect for someone who dreads the idea of sitting at a desk all day. When it comes to educational requirements, one only has to have a High School diploma or GED to get a job as an Auto Electrician. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Automotive Service Technicians, which includes Auto Electricians, is set to rise 5 percent through 2024.
Auto Electrician Duties and Responsibilities
An Auto Electrician performs several duties and responsibilities throughout their workday. We’ve analyzed several Auto Electrician job descriptions in order to put together this list of core Auto Electrician responsibilities.
Perform Diagnostic Electrical Tests As Needed
The primary duty of an Auto Electrician is to use electronic diagnostic equipment to diagnose electrical issues within a vehicle. Most don’t think of Automotive workers as technologically savvy, but this is a key requirement for an Auto Electrician. They must be comfortable hooking up vehicles to the diagnostic machine and able to quickly interpret results.
Undertake Electrical Repairs On Various Vehicles
Once an Auto Electrician diagnoses an issue within a vehicle’s electrical systems, they develop and execute a repair plan for said issue. Given that today’s vehicles are increasingly electronic, this includes, but is not limited to: alarm systems, windows and locks, interior and exterior lighting and the internal CPU.
Install New Interior Electrical Systems
Another duty of the Auto Electrician is to install interior electrical systems. This includes GPS systems, radios, sound systems and television screens.
Test Headlight Alignment And Intensity
One of the primary diagnostic tests performed by an Auto Electrician is headlight alignment and intensity. They use their knowledge of industry quality and safety standards to ensure headlights are in the Goldilocks zone between too dim and too bright.
Operate Hand And Power Tools
When it comes to actually performing repairs and doing the wiring for installations, an Auto Electrician must operate hand and power tools to complete the job. This requires manual dexterity and a strong attention to detail to ensure all wires are correctly installed.
Auto Electrician Skills
An Auto Electrician uses a collection of technical skills to do their job well. Not only must they have a working knowledge of electricity, they must have an extensive knowledge of the increasingly complex electrical systems found in different types of vehicles. Vehicles today, especially those made within the last 5 to 10 years, rely heavily on their electronic CPU to function. Auto Electricians use their analytical skills to run diagnostic tests on these interwoven electrical systems, and then use their knowledge base to repair the issue. While most of an Auto Electrician’s job is technical, they must also have good communication skills in order to deal with clients on a daily basis.
There are certain skills that every Auto Electrician must have in order to be successful. We compiled the following list of core skills based on our research of several Auto Electrician job descriptions.
- Ability to diagnose electrical malfunctions within automotive systems
- Strong attention to detail
- Analytical skills
- Complex problem solving
- Ability to install electrical systems
- Knowledge of fundamentals of electrical wiring
- Ability to operate electronic diagnostic equipment
- Ability to communicate vehicle issues in layman’s terms
- Ability to work in a changing environment
Auto Electrician Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for an Auto Electrician is $31,400. The top 10 percent make above $50,940, while the bottom 10 percent make below $19,310. The three states with the highest Auto Electrician median salaries are Washington at $51,400; Massachusetts at $42,600; and Mississippi at $41,800.
Auto Electrician Tools of the Trade
Auto Electricians use a variety of tools throughout their workday in order to diagnose and perform repairs. The following are some of these tools.
Power Tools – Auto Electricians use power tools, like electronic screwdrivers and drills, to install electrical systems within vehicles.
Voltage or Current Meters – Auto Electricians use voltage and current meters to test the flow of electricity to the various electrical systems contained within a vehicle. This includes headlights, GPS and sound systems.
Stripping Tools – Where there’s electricity, there’s wiring. Auto Electricians use stripping tools to remove and replace electronic wiring.
Auto Electrician Resources
Are you interested in further exploring the career path of Auto Electrician? Start with this list below.
Automotive Electric Association - The Automotive Electric Association is a segment community of the Auto Care Association. This association has many Auto Electricians amongst their ranks.
Society of Automotive Engineers – Although this professional organization isn’t technically for Auto Electricians, their website contains a plethora of articles and videos that pertain to automotive electronics.
How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems - Written by Tracy Martin, this book covers everything one needs to know about diagnosing and repairing automotive electrical systems. It is an excellent resource for aspiring Auto Electricians.
Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems - Written by Tony Candela, this book is designed to provide step-by-step guidance for using a hands on approach to learn automotive wiring and electrical systems. It has an extensive troubleshooting section that is particularly useful for beginning Auto Electricians.
Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems Volume 2: Projects – This book is an extension of the abovementioned guided to automotive wiring and Electrical theory. It is filled with projects that range from beginner to advanced, and is a perfect workbook for aspiring Auto Electricians looking for hands on experience.
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