Maintenance

Auto electrician

Auto electricians fit and repair the electrics in motor vehicles.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

40

7%
Future employment

There will be 7% fewer Auto electrician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • taking readings, using a laptop or hand-held device connected to an engine's electronic control unit
  • checking and testing wiring and parts in older vehicles using portable instruments
  • using readings to find faults
  • researching faults, using manufacturers' circuit diagrams and manuals
  • repairing or replacing faulty parts
  • retesting the system to make sure everything is working correctly and safely (this may include road testing the vehicle)
  • filling out a repair sheet listing the work you have done

You’ll work with a variety of electronic systems including:

  • ignitions, alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices
  • electric windows, mirrors and seats, towbar electrics and air-conditioning
  • customised LED or neon lighting kits, parking warning systems and reversing cameras

You’ll also deal with in-car phones, TV, and audio and DVD players. 

You could specialise in light vehicles (cars, vans and motorcycles), heavy vehicles (lorries, buses and coaches), or one particular vehicle model if you work for a motor manufacturer.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could do a vehicle maintenance and repair course that also covers auto electrical work. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Vehicle Systems Maintenance
  • Level 1 Award in Motor Vehicle Studies
  • Level 2 Certificate in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles
  • Level 2 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Competence

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

Apprenticeship

You could get into this career through an intermediate apprenticeship in vehicle maintenance and repair.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Direct application

You can apply for jobs as an auto electrician if you've got qualifications and experience in motor mechanics.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an auto electrician from Autocity.

£15,000 to £35,000

Starter salary: £15,000 to £18,500

Experienced salary: £18,500 to £29,000

These figures are a guide.

40

You’ll usually work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. 

You might have to work shifts or be on-call.



You’ll be based in a garage or workshop. If your job includes call-out duties, you’ll also work outside in all weather conditions.

With experience, you could progress to be a supervisor or manager, or move into vehicle sales or marketing.

You could also set up your own business.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of maths
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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