what is an auto electrician?

Auto electricians inspect, install, repair and maintain electronic systems in motor vehicles. After working for a few years, you can pursue career advancement as a fleet repair supervisor.

Your job involves using advanced diagnostic equipment, hand tools and specialised electrical instruments. As an auto electrician, typical vehicle repairs include fixing alternators, air conditioning systems and lights. You can also work on electrical wiring, repair vehicle safety systems and troubleshoot the latest electronic devices in new vehicle models.

The driving factor of becoming an auto electrician is your curiosity about how things work. Working as an auto electrician provides a decent salary and great daily satisfaction if you have a natural aptitude for investigating electrical and mechanical problems. You require a variety of skills and knowledge to become an auto electrician. For instance, knowledge of electrical systems results from curiosity about how vehicles work. You also need to develop creative solutions for fixing various problems.

As an auto electrician, you work in vehicle garages, general mechanics, repair shops or car dealerships. Opportunities are also available in industrial companies that assemble or manufacture vehicle parts.

Would working as an auto mechanic suit your mechanical aptitude? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an auto electrician role.

auto electrician jobs

average salary of an auto electrician

According to National Careers, your starting salary as an auto electrician is £17,000 per year. When you improve your skills and expertise, your pay increases to £37,000 annually. Auto electricians can also charge customers for call-out services, so if a customer's car breaks down on the road, you will receive additional pay for going to fix it. Most employers provide overtime pay, especially if you work in a manufacturing plant.

what factors affect the salary of an auto electrician?

As an auto electrician, your salary depends on your skillset and expertise. For instance, if you have specialist knowledge in braking systems, repairing air conditioning systems and electrical wiring in cars, you can demand a higher salary for your expert knowledge. Your experience also influences your pay since you learn more about cars with every repair, and customers trust you with their vehicles.

The industry you work for also dictates your pay structure. For instance, a small garage or vehicle repair shop may not afford to pay a high salary compared to large auto service stations. The manufacturing industry also provides a higher pay potential, and you enjoy multiple benefits.


smiling man
smiling man

types of auto electrician

Some types of auto electricians include:

  • front-end technicians: your job involves handling all front-end repairs in a vehicle. That includes arranging the wheels, axles and frames to ensure proper alignment. 
  • air conditioning auto electrician: as an auto technician, you can specialise in repairing vehicles' heating and air conditioning systems. You diagnose the sources of malfunctions and troubleshoot the problems to ensure the system works as expected.
  • brake auto technicians: since braking systems have extensive electrical connections, you ensure they function as expected. You perform a diagnostic test to identify the source of the problem before performing the necessary repairs.

working as an auto electrician

Working as an auto electrician involves repairing defects in a motor vehicle's electronics and electrical components. You require mechanical aptitude and extensive knowledge of electronics to succeed in the role. Let's explore your career options and duties.


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications of auto electricians include:

  • college course: to become an auto electrician, you can do courses like a Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in light vehicle maintenance and repair. You can also pursue a T Level qualification in maintenance, installation and repairs.
  • apprenticeship: you can get into the auto electrician career through an advanced motor vehicle service and maintenance technician apprenticeship programme. You need 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 to join the programme. As well as coursework, you receive on the job training.

auto electrician skills and competencies

Some of the personal attributes you need as an auto technician include:

  • knowledge of electrical systems: unless you're an electrical savant, you probably won't start from scratch. Your intense curiosity about how things work has perhaps already inspired you to learn about vehicle electrical systems, tools and safety precautions. Knowledge of such systems will make you an excellent problem-solver since you know the functions of each part.
  • mechanical aptitude: this helps you quickly absorb new information about mechanical systems. Most auto electricians intuitively grasp theoretical and practical applications of scientific principles like displacement and the results of forces on objects.
  • electronic knowledge: as an auto electrician, you already understand how circuit boards, processors and chips work. Having some computer management and programming skills gives you an extra advantage.
  • understanding diagnostic equipment: diagnostic equipment narrows down electrical problems automatically. You must be proficient in using the equipment to diagnose vehicle issues.
  • familiarity with vehicle makes and models: your knowledge of various vehicle models is critical in making proper repairs and replacements. Auto electricians also need to identify classes of vehicles and rental agency classification systems.


smiling asian man
smiling asian man


FAQs about working as an auto electrician

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