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Highest-Paying Automotive Jobs

Individuals interested in working in the automotive industry will want to consider jobs that involve designing, selling, manufacturing or repairing automobiles. Learn about some of the highest-paying automotive jobs, and get details about job responsibilities and education requirements.

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Career Options for the Highest-Paying Automotive Jobs

Because cars are so popular and have so many intricacies, there are a variety of career options in the automotive industry. These six jobs that involve working with cars all pay higher median salaries than that of all jobs, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports at $37,040.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Automotive Body and Glass Repairers $40,370 9%
Transportation Equipment Painters $42,150 6%
Industrial Designers $67,790 2%
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics $38,470 5%
Sales Managers $117,960 5%
Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics $45,170 12%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aircraft Powerplant Tech
  • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Technologies
  • Autobody Repair
  • Automotive Mechanics
  • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • Diesel Mechanics
  • Engine Machinist
  • Heavy Vehicle and Truck Tech
  • Marine Watercraft Repair and Maintenance
  • Motorcycle Repair and Maintenance
  • Small Engine Mechanics
  • Vehicle Emissions Inspection

Career Information for the Highest-Paying Automotive Jobs

Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

When people are involved in a car accident or get a chip in their vehicle's windshield, they may need the services of an automotive body or glass repairer. Body repairers focus on identifying damage to parts like the doors, panels or frames of a car or truck. Automotive glass repairers may install a new windshield or take measures to keep cracks in a windshield from spreading. Although formal training in this field can be an asset (and is increasingly preferred by employers), it is possible to become an automotive body or glass repairer with a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

Transportation Equipment Painters

The field of painting and coating can entail working with a wide variety of products, but individuals specifically interested in working with automobiles (including cars, buses and trucks) can become transportation equipment painters, or automotive painters. These professionals typically use specialized spray guns to paint new vehicles or to refinish older models. Employment as a painting and coating worker usually requires a high school diploma or the equivalent, but there are programs available at vocational schools that train students to paint automobiles.

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers' work impacts most people's lives every day because they are responsible for designing and redesigning products to make them more functional or user-friendly than past versions. Industrial designers can focus on number of manufactured items, including automobiles. They can design a new car model, or they may alter an existing vehicle model to keep it up-to-date with competitors or incorporate new features. Industrial designers can start out in their field with a bachelor's degree in industrial design or a similar discipline.

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Automotive service technicians and mechanics work with vehicles on a regular basis to ensure that they are maintained or repaired. They specifically work with standard-sized vehicles, such as trucks, vans and cars. Their work may involve routine tasks, such as changing the oil, or more extensive tests to diagnose and repair a problem with a car's systems. Automotive service technicians and mechanics need postsecondary training; a certificate or associate's degree is required, and they may also need certification.

Sales Managers

After earning a bachelor's degree and acquiring experience in sales, it's possible to pursue a career as a sales manager. Sales managers can be involved in training sales staff, and they also address customer issues. Those who work in the automotive industry manage the sales staff at vehicle dealerships, where they help set prices for vehicles and determine the most effective way to sell vehicles to consumers.

Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

Diesel service technicians and mechanics perform maintenance and repair work on vehicles that have diesel-powered engines, such as buses and construction vehicles. Although they can learn through on-the-job training with a high school diploma, they may find they have more job options if they earn a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree that trains them to work with diesel engines. They may perform a range of tasks and need to be familiar with the systems in diesel-powered vehicles.

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