what is an auto electrician?

As an auto electrician, your job is to inspect, install, repair, and maintain electronic systems in motor vehicles using advanced diagnostic equipment, hand tools, and specialised electrical instruments. You will typically fix alternators, air conditioning systems, lights, electrical wiring, vehicle safety systems, and troubleshoot the latest electronic devices in new vehicle models. 

If you have a natural aptitude for investigating electrical and mechanical problems, working as an auto electrician can provide a decent salary and great daily satisfaction. The driving factor of becoming an auto electrician is your curiosity about how things work, and you require a variety of skills and knowledge to excel in this career. 

You can pursue career advancement as a fleet repair supervisor after a few years of working as an auto electrician. You can find employment opportunities in vehicle garages, repair shops, car dealerships, industrial companies that assemble or manufacture vehicle parts, or industries that operate heavy vehicles like mining.

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average auto electrician salary

If you work as an auto electrician, your salary will depend on your educational qualifications and level of experience. Generally, an entry-level auto electrician can expect to earn around $115,000 per year, while those with more experience may receive a remuneration package of up to $135,000 annually. As an auto electrician, your average salary will be approximately $125,000 per year.

what factors affect the salary of an auto electrician?

As an auto electrician, your salary package is determined by your qualifications and experience. If you are new to the job with prevocational training, you can expect to earn less than someone who has completed an apprenticeship and has a Certificate III in automotive electrical technology. Completing an apprenticeship will provide you with valuable work experience and skills that will increase your qualifications and earning potential.

Your employer also plays a role in your salary. Auto electricians work in various industries, from vehicle assembly companies to businesses with large fleets of vehicles that require onsite electricians. If you work in mining or fleet operations, where you are responsible for repairing and maintaining large vehicles, you can expect to earn a higher salary.

Want to know what you will earn as an auto electrician? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

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types of auto electricians

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 electrician, you can specialise in repairing vehicles' heating and air conditioning systems. You diagnose the sources of malfunctions and troubleshoot the problems to ensure the systems work 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.
A photo of a man and a woman working as electricians
A photo of a man and a woman working as electricians

working as an auto electrician

As an auto electrician, you repair defects in motor vehicles, which requires mechanical aptitude. If you are interested in the role, check out the duties, work environments and career outlook.


education and skills

You require educational qualifications to become an automotive electrician. Some of the academic qualifications include:

auto electrician skills and competencies

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

  • knowledge of electrical systems: unless you're an electrical savant, you won't start from scratch. Your intense curiosity about how things work inspires you to learn about vehicle electrical systems, tools and safety precautions. Knowledge of such systems makes 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. Being proficient in using the equipment to diagnose vehicle issues is crucial.
  • familiarity with vehicle makes and models: your knowledge of various vehicle models is critical in making proper repairs and replacements. Auto electricians also identify classes of vehicles and rental agency classification systems.

FAQs about working as an auto electrician

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an auto electrician.

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