If you were playing with Hot Wheels and model race cars back when the other kids were focused on action figures and video games, you’re probably looking forward to a career in the automotive world.
It would be great if we could all race cars for a living, but not everyone can be the next Jeff Gordon or Sebastian Vettel. Many professions that don’t involve racing will allow you to explore your love of cars, and your parents will feel much better about your prospects of backing into a wall at 190mph. Here are some of the best career choices for car enthusiasts:
The quintessential gearhead occupation. As long as there are cars on the road, there will be a need for mechanics. As tomorrow’s cars become more complex and we transition into a world of network-aware vehicles, computer science is becoming a bigger part of car repair. Being a mechanic is no longer a blue-collar job but a specialized and scientific one.
What’s the difference between a mechanic and a technician? Mechanics tend to find work at independent shops and take on a variety of jobs, whereas technicians perform specialized roles at manufacturing plants or dealerships. Want to work on high-powered diesel engines or brand-new cars? This is the role for you.
What could be more fun than getting paid to drive? Not every professional driving career involves competing for pole position, but if behind the wheel is where you’re happiest, there are opportunities aplenty. See new places and put your well-honed skills behind the wheel to good work while someone else foots the tab for gas.
The car industry is one of the largest in the world, and important news about the latest models and technologies comes out every day. If you’ve got a passion for all things automotive, a journalistic career is a great way to spend your days up close to the machines you love. Plus, it can be full of all sorts of cool perks. Brush up on those photography skills and get the scoop!
Think about the last ten TV commercials you saw. Chances are, one — if not more — was for a new car. Automakers must market aggressively in print media, online and on television to remain competitive. If you’ve got the writing and content creation skills to promote the newest exciting models, there could be a spot for you on the marketing team of a worldwide automotive power.
Before the wrench hands can get greasy working on engines, someone has to make them. Engineers plan and develop the technology that underpins today’s impressive automobiles. Learn the complex physics behind engine design and the powerful computer tools used to design and test new parts. It’s an exciting and challenging role.
While engineers toil at discovering ways to make parts stronger, lighter and more effective, designers find ways to package them into something that will set the market on fire. Being a designer is all about taking the parts engineers come up with and packaging them in a way that is both functional and attractive.
Some days you’ll push the boundaries, other days, you’ll design a Camry — just don’t get it wrong, whatever you do.
It’s been said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. If cars are your passion, you’re fortunate — there are no shortage of great careers out there. Be ambitious, and you’ll land a position that lets you spend your working hours with the machines of your dreams.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA.
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