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Job Photographs

  • A man is leaning over a workshop bench.  He is making notes on a document.  There is a piece of mechanical equipment next to him.

    Writing a report.

  • Two men are leaning over a workshop bench.  One is making notes, while the other is examining a small piece of mechanical equipment.

    Working as part of a team.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Assisting with the research and development of electrical systems.

  • Three men, all wearing overalls, are standing around a small table.  They are looking at a piece of equipment used for automobiles.  They are writing notes on a notepad.

    Working with engineers to test vehicle parts.

  • Two men are working on a large piece of machinery.  They are wearing blue overalls.

    Overhauling part of a vehicle.

  • A man, wearing overalls, is leaning over a workshop bench.  He is using a tool to repair a piece of machinery.

    Carrying out a repair.

  • Automobile Engineering Technician

Automobile Engineering Technician

Introduction

Automobile engineering technicians help engineers to design, develop, produce, inspect and test motor vehicles and their parts. They may also service vehicles, which involves finding and diagnosing faults, as well as carrying out repairs.

Also known as

  • Car Production Engineering Technician
  • Engineering Technician, Automobile
  • Vehicle Engineering Technician

Video: - Martyn: Automobile Engineering Technician

Work Activities

As an Automobile Engineering Technician, you will help to develop all types of vehicle, including cars, tanks, vans, buses and fork-lift trucks. You'll also service vehicles, making sure they are safe and reliable.

In the manufacturing industry, you will help to design, produce, test and inspect vehicles. You'll work with Automobile Engineers on electrical systems and power units, computerised control systems, brakes, suspension systems and catalytic converters, for example.

Some Automobile Engineering Technicians plan production processes; you may arrange to buy any materials or parts that are needed.

As an Automobile Engineering Technician, you'll develop test procedures to make sure that the vehicles and their parts are safe and of high quality. You might also assist with the research and development of electrical systems.

You'll spend time working out detailed designs and technical drawings, as well as writing reports.

Environmental issues are a very big factor is today's automobile industry. Low carbon research is an exciting area to be involved in

In the servicing sector, you'll work out costs and make sure that vehicles are economically maintained and repaired, so they are safe, reliable and comply with legal requirements.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Automobile Engineering Technician, you need:

  • technical ability and good problem-solving skills
  • to diagnose faults and repair them quickly
  • knowledge of mechanical and electrical systems, ergonomics and computers
  • to be willing to keep up to date with changing technology
  • the ability to read and interpret technical drawings and plans, and to explain them to others
  • to be resourceful, able to act on your own initiative and pay attention to detail
  • to be a good team member, able to work with Engineers and other Technicians

You may be responsible for other staff, so the ability to lead and motivate others is an advantage.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £26,000 - £29,000
  • With experience: £31,500 - £38,500
  • Senior Automobile Engineering Technicians earn £41,500 - £45,500

Hours of work

Most Automobile Engineering Technicians work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, early starts, late finishes and some weekend work may be required, especially as deadlines approach.

Where could I work?

Employers are major motor manufacturers and vehicle parts manufacturers. There are also openings with manufacturers of commercial vehicles and buses, sports cars and rail vehicles.

Opportunities occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You usually enter this career by doing an apprenticeship.

Advanced Level Apprenticeships may be available in your area.

You may also be able to enter employment as a trainee, receiving day or block release to go to college part-time.

Another entry route is to take a full-time college course, leading to a relevant A level or BTEC qualification (eg, engineering) before looking for employment.

Training

You may be able to work towards a relevant work-based qualification, such as vehicle maintenance and repair at level 3.

Professional registration - known as EngTech - is available for those who have joined a professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council.

You also need to complete a relevant Advanced Level Apprenticeship; or hold a qualification such as the BTEC level 3 certificate or diploma in engineering or construction and the built environment, alongside relevant experience.

You can apply if you don't have a qualification, but you need to have substantial work experience.

Full details on how to register as an EngTech are available in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC document, which can be viewed on their website.

Work Experience

Previous experience gained, for example, as a Garage Assistant or Tyre/Exhaust Fitter, or knowledge of electrical work would be really useful for this career.

Progression

With further education and training, Automobile Engineering Technicians can go on to register at Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) level.

Qualifications

There are no formal entry requirements for this career. However, many employers or training providers prefer applicants to have at least 4 GCSEs, including English, maths and a science, technology or engineering subject.

Training providers may ask you to take an aptitude test.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Practical or technical skills gained, for example, as a garage assistant or tyre/exhaust fitter, or knowledge of electrical work (paid or unpaid) is useful.

Courses

Most colleges will consider applications from older candidates who don't have the usual entry requirements. You should check the admissions policy of individual colleges.

Training

Information on pathways to registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Distance learning

Numerous institutions offer undergraduate and postgraduate engineering qualifications via distance learning.

Further Information

Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)

Skills for the motor industry

Address: Fanshaws, Brickendon, Hertford SG13 8PQ

Tel: 01992 511521

Email: comms@theimi.org.uk

Website: www.theimi.org.uk

Transport Training Services Ltd (TTS)

Irish enquiries

Address: 15 Dundrod Road, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SS

Tel: 028 9082 5653

Email: mail@transport-training.co.uk

Website: www.transport-training.co.uk

Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group

Email: ner@vmgl.com

Website: www.engineerjobs.co.uk

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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