How to become a 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 of a 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 a 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. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

Working conditions for a Automotive Electrician

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

Employment Opportunities for a 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.

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