How to Train to Become an Auto Electrician

Oct 26, 2021 ·
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There are many opportunities in the automotive industry for technicians who have the right education and experience. One specialization an auto tech might pursue is the role of an automotive electrician.

An auto electrician knows how to install and maintain wiring and electrical systems in a variety of vehicles. Electronics are present in many parts of a car, from the various lighting components to the ignition and transmission systems.

If working as an auto electrician sounds interesting, keep reading to find out more about the job outlook, responsibilities and more!

Automotive Electrician Job Description

Automotive electricians have specialized knowledge to make repairs on vehicles’ electrical circuits and wiring.

What do auto electricians fix? They can work on any systems that feature electronic components, including:

  • Ignition systems
  • Gauges
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Alarms and anti-theft systems
  • Electronic fuel pumps
  • Sound systems
  • Cameras and sensors
  • Lights
  • Brakes and anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
  • SRS and airbag systems
  • Fuel injector systems

Repairing and maintaining these parts and systems can fill the day of an auto electrician. Job duties can include:

  • Installing new wiring systems
  • Utilizing special instruments and tools to inspect electrical systems
  • Using welding tools and equipment to repair electrical parts
  • Diagnosing issues with electrical components
  • Operating voltage and current meters
  • Testing headlight alignment
  • Completing reports
  • Communicating with customers regarding issues and ETAs for repairs

These are just a few of the daily tasks an auto electrician might handle, though they can vary given the amount of complex electrical equipment today’s vehicles feature.

Auto Electrician Salary and Job Outlook

When considering whether to pursue a career path, it can help to research possible salary ranges and get a general job outlook for the industry. Those who end up working as automotive electricians often start as entry-level automotive service technicians to gain knowledge of different vehicle systems.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great resource for gauging the outlook and salary of different positions. While there is no BLS data available specifically for automotive electricians, the BLS does offer insight on automotive technicians and related roles.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for automotive service technicians and mechanics in the United States was $44,050 in May 2020.25 This means half of automotive technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

There’s a real demand for skilled trade professionals, making starting on the path to becoming an auto electrician exciting. In fact, there are more than 60,000 estimated annual automotive job openings available in the U.S.41

How to Train to Become an Automotive Electrician

The right education and training are important for someone interested in pursuing a career as an auto electrician. Given the large number of electrical systems and components in late-model vehicles, having knowledge and hands-on experience working on cars is important before working in a more specialized role.

Like many other roles in the skilled trades, basic education in the form of a high school diploma or GED is crucial. Specialized training or certifications are typically not required, though this might vary depending on the specific sector of the industry.

One of the best ways to gain the foundational knowledge needed to learn how to become an automotive electrician is to attend a trade school. For example, the Automotive Technology program at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) teaches students how to maintain and repair issues on both domestic and foreign vehicles.

At UTI, students become familiar with a range of car systems, and in electronic technology classes they learn how electricity functions in a vehicle. Students learn how to use tools like oscilloscopes and multimeters to read and diagnose issues within different electrical components.

Having this foundation of knowledge can help you when starting in the industry. With the skills you gain from UTI and hard work, you can specialize your craft and align it to match the requirements of an automotive electrician position.1

Get Foundational Training in UTI’s Automotive Technology Program

If the role of an automotive electrician sounds like it would be a good fit for you, getting hands-on training at a trade school can be a great first step. Applying to UTI’s Automotive Technology program can help get you started toward a future you’re excited about.

Students can graduate from the program in less than a year7 and be ready to apply for entry-level jobs in the workforce. To find out more, request more information today!

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