The automotive industry is in a time of flux. There are many factors at play. After a short-lived rise in the popularity of SUVs, there has been a shift. Increasingly, consumers want smaller, more efficient vehicles, with fewer to zero emissions.
Many have expressed a desire to no longer be at mercy of fluctuating fuel prices. And on the manufacturing side, the American and Japanese car companies have really had to work hard to bounce back from economic crisis and environmental disaster, respectively. What kind of auto careers does the automotive industry offer to today's young car lovers, beyond auto mechanics?
The answer: plenty.
Truck transport specialist
Canada is still dependent on the trucking industry for the transport of most of its goods. This is one of those automotive careers that are likely to remain in high demand, just so long as our economy remains dependent on truck transport - a state of affairs that is not expected to change any time soon.
Fleet manager at a car share service
Many Canadian urbanites are foregoing car ownership, but would still like to have occasional access to a car, for errands and trips out of town, via one of the country's multiple car sharing services. These car sharing services require car savvy staff to oversee their fleets, to order new vehicles, to negotiate contracts with mechanics, etc. If attitudes to car ownership are changing, it may even lead to the creation of more automotive careers.
Electric car designer
Over the past few years, you may have noticed a slow but steady increase of the number of electric and hybrid cars on our roads. Quebec has even put in a place a plan for the electrification of its road network, with charging stations in the parking lots of private businesses. Some condos now advertise that they come equipped with charging stations for electric cars. Although the first electric car was actually developed a century ago, electric car design is one of those automotive careers that still needs leaders and innovators. Could you come up with the next big design?
Custom hot rod designer
Whereas auto mechanics are primarily concerned with what's under the hood, body shop artistes are more concerned with the hood itself.
Body shop repair is one of those auto careers where you can specialize. If you have an interest in classic hot rods and muscle cars, then this is a career, beyond auto mechanics, where you can work with classic vehicles, restoring them to their original state, or taking them to new heights.
Bonus: in some rare cases, custom hot rod designer is one of those automotive careers where the crème de la crème can even find themselves with a deal for a TV reality show.
This is another one of those auto careers that has been transformed by recent technological developments. Today's dispatcher must be as handy with a computer as they are with a two-way radio. Much of their job involves using the latest logistics and mapping computer tools.
Young people today may find that evolving nature of today's automotive industry may lead to the creation of even more automotive careers in the future.