How to become an Automotive Electrician

Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians install, maintain, identify faults and repair electrical wiring and computer-based equipment in motor vehicles and related equipment, such as caravans, trailers, earthmoving equipment, mining equipment, marine applications and agricultural equipment.

Personal requirements for an Automotive Electrician

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good eyesight and normal colour vision
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to approach work in a systematic and thorough way
  • Able to keep up to date with technological changes
  • Aptitude for technical activities

Education & Training for an Automotive Electrician

To become an automotive electrician you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Automotive Electrical Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Additional information

After completing your apprenticeship, you will need to apply for a licence to perform electrical work.

Duties & Tasks of an Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians:

  • Work with computer-controlled engine management systems
  • Service, identify and repair faults on electronically controlled vehicle systems such as electronic fuel injection, electronic ignition, anti-lock braking, cruise control, automatic transmission, airbags and air conditioning
  • Install electrical equipment such as gauges, lighting, alternators and starter motors in vehicles
  • Install electrically operated accessories such as radios, heating or demisting equipment, air conditioners, driving lamps and anti-theft systems
  • Refer to circuit diagrams, and use meters and test instruments to find electrical faults
  • Adjust engine control systems and timing to ensure vehicles are running at peak performance
  • Test, recondition and replace faulty alternators, generators, starter motors and related items such as voltage regulators and batteries
  • Repair or replace faulty ignition, electrical wiring, fuses, lamps and switches
  • Use hand tools, specialised electrical tools, instruments and machines, including drills, grinders, presses and lathes
  • Solder or weld when repairing electrical parts
  • Sell and install electrical parts and accessories
  • Install, repair and service air conditioning systems.

Tasks

  • Replacing defective parts such as fuses, lamps and switches.
  • Testing and replacing defective alternators, generators, voltage regulators and starter motors.
  • Repairing and replacing faulty ignition and electrical wiring.
  • Connecting power-operated vehicle equipment and accessories to power supply.
  • Using test equipment to locate electrical and electronic malfunctions.
  • Installing electrical equipment and electronic components in motor vehicles.
  • Dismantling and removing electrical and electronic assemblies and components.
  • Adjusting engine control systems and timing.

Working conditions for an Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians are usually required to wear protective clothing. They may have contact with customers.


Employment Opportunities for an Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians work for automotive electrical specialists, motor vehicle repairers, large transport firms and vehicle dealerships. They may work either in motor vehicles themselves, at workbenches repairing parts, or providing mobile and roadside repairs. With the increasing use of electronically controlled systems, regularly updating skills and knowledge is essential. Computerised diagnostic equipment training and expertise in advancing systems (such as electronic fuel injection and vehicle management) are also very important.


Specializations

Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians install, maintain, identify faults and repair electrical wiring and computer-based equipment in motor vehicles and related equipment, such as caravans, trailers, earthmoving equipment, mining equipment, marine applications and agricultural equipment.

  • Average age
    Average age
    37 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    2% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    48 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    Unavailable
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    90% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    6,100 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.7%
    NSW: 25.1%
    NT: 1.1%
    QLD: 25.6%
    SA: 6.6%
    TAS: 2.2%
    VIC: 18.3%
    WA: 20.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 4.7%
    20-24: 13.2%
    25-34: 27.3%
    35-44: 21.8%
    45-54: 18.6%
    55-59: 7.2%
    60-64: 4.8%
    65 and Over: 2.4%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 2.2%
    Bachelor degree: 1.6%
    Certificate III/IV: 84%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.1%
    Year 10 and below: 3.3%
    Year 11: 2%
    Year 12: 6.7%
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