Automotive Electrician Kaimahi Hiko ā-Waka

Automotive electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring, parts and electrical and electronic systems in vehicles.

Automotive electricians may do some or all of the following:

  • test automotive electrical systems to find and fix faults
  • repair and replace automotive electrical systems such as charging and starting systems
  • repair and replace electronic systems such as engine-management systems, air-conditioning systems, ABS brakes, electronically controlled gearboxes, instrument panels and vehicle computers
  • install car security and entertainment systems.

Physical Requirements

Automotive electricians need to have good hand-eye co-ordination and normal colour vision. They also need to be agile and have good flexibility for working in small spaces.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for automotive electricians includes:

  • any work with vehicles
  • electrical or mechanical work
  • computer work.

Personal Qualities

Automotive electricians need to be:

  • accurate and logical
  • methodical and patient
  • safety-conscious.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for automotive electricians includes:

  • any work with vehicles
  • electrical or mechanical work
  • computer work.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but NCEA Level 1 with a minimum of 12 numeracy credits and 12 literacy credits is useful.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Ignition and Accelerate StartUp programmes run by MITO are a good way to gain industry experience.

StartUp students can gain:

  • up to 42 NCEA credits 
  • practical work experience
  • a National Certificate in Motor Industry – Foundation Skills (Level 1).

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Automotive Electricians can earn around $17-$24 per hour per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Automotive Electrician are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Automotive electricians may progress to set up their own automotive electrical business, or move into management, customer service, or other automotive or engineering occupations. 

They may specialise in:

  • particular types of vehicles such as heavy trucks and earthmoving vehicles, or cars
  • areas such as fuel injection systems or computer repairs.
Automotive Electrician