So we wanted publish blog post on some of our members and their jobs in the car industry. Proving that the usual stigma that it is a male dominated trade is actually rubbish. There are so many jobs that people can do in the Automotive world, proving that you can turn a passion into a job and get paid for doing what you love. Find out more about some of our members varying job roles below:
I asked if I could first work Saturdays just to learn a little more about cars in general and enjoyed it. They soon took me on as a full time apprentice, which allowed me to go to college and get my qualifications.
I am currently doing a City & Guilds Level 2 in Motor Vehicle Maintenance. I do whatever jobs come through the door, from a service to a engine rebuild. I am due to finish my Level 2 qualification, which is only one exam away.
I would like to then continue on to the level 3 qualification, with additional M.O.T tester certificate. I have found it to be difficult but it’s been so interesting to learn all the different aspects of how things work on cars. I would eventually love to open my own garage. I would like to learn so much more such as bodywork, spraying cars and welding.
I currently own a BMW e36 that I have done so much work on over the years. I bought it completely standard and it now has a 2.3 engine with an alloy rad, welded diff, deep dish wheels, side skirts, both bumpers fully stripped out, hydro wind deflectors, bucket seats, harnesses, poly bushed all round, coilovers, wide arches, ducktail spoiler and a love heart exhaust tip. I have big plans for next year as I have just bought a rocket bunny kit for it.
I would say if anyone is thinking about taking a career in mechanics, that I went into this with no knowledge at all. I didn’t know how to change a battery or a bulb, I didn’t think I could do it but I have. It has been hard work but nothing worth having comes easy in life!
Sophie Jade – Bodyshop Technician
I work as a vehicle prepper, painter and polisher. I left school not knowing what I wanted to do, so thought I’d do something I am passionate about. I’m currently working on the paint for some Mclaren’s and I used to work on accident/repair cars for a while. I even spent a month prepping a crane for paint.
My inspiration is that I like adrenaline rushes such as; cars, quads, jet skis so this was the next step for me.
In terms of qualifications, I went to college straight from school and studied 3 years to get my level 1/2&3 NVQ. I found the qualifications not too tough, as I was always interested in cars, so I just got stuck in. Don’t get me wrong nobody expected me to finish the qualification when I started, as I was classed as a girly girl. However, I was the first to finish college in my class. In the future I want to open my own body shop in the next 5/10 years.
In terms of the cars themselves, I used to own a 350z that was my absolute baby. It was lowered with a Nismo body kit and I now have a Seat Leon FR550 for commuting reasons.
Siobhan Evans – PDI Technican
After secondary school I knew I didn’t want to sit in a classroom any longer so I chose cars because it was something practical. I got an apprenticeship initially and worked my way up. I now work in the Quality Control department at Royal Portbury Docks for BCA as a PDI Technician. PDI is self-explanatory (PreDelivery Inspection). They fill out a warranty book, do tyre pressures and other things like the belt. They’ll do 10-20 cars per person, 5-12 people at different times of the year.
BCA have currently two sites the main site and Weston dock. Weston dock has what we call ‘the belt’ a RTS, (ready to sell) place where Renault Clios and Capturs travel down a large conveyor belt being worked on by a group of workers. There are 4 phases and QC, (quality control) at then end. Locking wheel nuts are changed, screen wash is added and stickers are put in certain places. On average maybe 100-300 cars will go through the belt in 1 day.
The main site is split into 5 sections. Inspection does etching on vehicles that have come off the boats.
The AOL department is mainly fitting accessories to Nissan and Renault. It’s my favourite part. You’ll either work on a Nissan NV200 fitting an alarm or Renault Clio’s and Capturs fitting accessories. QC is where I’m at the minute. It means taking the areal off the car, looking through the car manuals and checking over the PDI job. We’ll go through 80-160 cars on a good day.
In terms of qualifications I took a few. Level 2 was almost a warm up year. It was learning how the systems work and involved around 9 exams. My level 3 apprenticeship only had 4 exams and I passed 3/4. My 4th is in 2 weeks.
Danielle Evans – Customer Relationship Manager
My current role is Customer Relationship Manager but I started in Eurocarparts 4.5 years ago as a Parts Advisor, purely because I fancied a change of scenery from working in retail. I had very little parts and trade knowledge at the time.
My current l role consists of interacting face-to-face with garage owners and customers, building relationships and solving any issues, from warranty claims, to new garage equipment.
I needed 0 qualifications to join ECP, but when I realised I needed to improve my parts knowledge I watched as many YouTube videos of `how things work’ and episodes of wheeler dealers as I could for homework. After all, it’s all very well being able to type ‘alternator’ into a screen to find a part but if you don’t know what it does and what It looks like you won’t last long dealing with customers.
This is how I found my passion for cars but at the time I was held back by my ex partner, he didn’t like the idea of where I worked for many reasons, but mainly because I was surrounded by like minded men all day. The perks of being surrounded by men all day, is you find a voice and it gives you confidence.
Cars became an escape hobby and my passion started out in detailing. I would spend hours and hours on my car, confusing my mother with all these products when all she’d ever use was fairy liquid and a sponge. I’d do nothing but take pictures and stare at the reflection afterwards.
I met my fiancé through work, he was an Assistant Manager at one of the garages I dealt with. It took 2 years for us to finally go out on a date but 2 years after that we are getting married. I have him to thank for opening my eyes to a whole new world of cars. We are both fanatical and are having a car themed wedding.
Chloe Taylor – Apprentice Technician
My job role is an Apprentice Technician for Jaguar Land Rover. I have always been into cars and my dad has always been a big car and motorbike person. So I always followed in his footsteps.
I work on anything from a little 2.0 diesel Discovery Sport up to the big 5.0 petrol Range Rover Sport SVR. The product massively varies.
Cars inspire me because all my life I’ve been a bit of a fidget and I can’t sit still, so being able to play with or fix cars keeps me occupied. I could never see myself in a desk job.
All I needed for my job was C’s in maths and English GCSE. But as far as I’m aware a lot of the other apprentices didn’t have that and JLR have helped them work towards it. At the end of my apprenticeship I come out with a Level 3 Technician role, which is global. The qualifications are challenging and you really need to be focussed to push for what you want or you wont get anywhere. No one can help but yourself!
In the future I’d like to get my mastertech, and hopefully brake the wall of just staying on the spanners forever. I want to be able to get passed the techy stage and push to have my own garage.
Emily-May Chilton – Composites Technician
I’m a composites technician for Prodrive currently, it sounds stupid but I applied for the job online, went for an open day around Milton Keynes and was asked which section I would like to be in and the choices were laminating, breakout, trim, pattern shop, or inspection. I chose laminating as that seemed interesting and I simply got a call back and here I am.
I use a mould kit and manual / laminate pre preg carbon into the mould to create the first step of the part. The laminating is basically laying the pieces of carbon down how the kit and manual says using different tools eg. dibbers, cutting cards, stanley knife, heat gun, and composite shears. I also have to vacuum the bag down ready for when it goes into the auto clave to get baked so the resin turns into a liquid to create the hardened part.
I personally mostly do parts for Lotus 430, Bentley, small amount of Aston Martin Racing and Overfinch, but Prodrive also do Jaguar Landrover, Rolls-royce, gun turrets, and aerospace.
Everything inspires me how they work, what goes into making them, the mechanics, literally everything I love learning new things about them all the time. For laminating no you actually don’t you learn on the job I started as a trainee and worked my way to a proper laminator so anyone can give it a go
I’m currently changing jobs and becoming a bodywork technician so I’ll be doing everything from painting to panel beating and wheel refurbishment it’s my dream job so I’m excited to start.
Beckie Branch – Service Advisor
My current job role is Service Advisor, I have been in the motor trade for about 3 years. I have always wanted to work in the motor trade, always been into cars, my other half is a mechanic and we now work at the same garage. I meet and greet customers, take booking and enquiry calls, see in and out vehicles, quote on work to be done, invoicing, liaise with other departments, technicians and warranty, upsell needed work to customers.
I love cars, always have. My dad has always been fixing and tinkering with cars, which I helped with from a young age. Then I met my other half and he’s got a huge passion for cars (never stood a chance really). I love to drive, be a passenger, modify, wash and talk about cars even when they are frustrating.
I didn’t need any formal qualifications when I first started in the motor trade. My first job was a new role in the business, Sales Facilitator, this role meant that I could sell vehicles but also to all the paperwork. I worked at a sports centre before hand as a bar/receptionist/fitness instructor, so had customer experience.
Each company is different, I have worked now for 4 different garages. The hardest one has to be VW very strict and lots of complex policies to learn. Many training courses, but the hardest part about the motor trade is experience, very hard to get into the trade but once you are in you can go anywhere within it.
My aim is to become a Service Manager. We now have 4 cars between us (2 and 2) he’s got a Nissan Skyline R32 GTR and a Subaru Impreza WRX.
How to Get Started
Find out more about what kinds of automotive jobs you would like to get into with the links below: