10 High-Paying Jobs in the Automotive Industry (With Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 2, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working in the automotive industry can be exciting and rewarding, especially for car lovers. As car manufacturers and dealerships strive to provide customers with new, innovative vehicles, the demand for experienced car enthusiasts continues to increase. If you're thinking about pursuing a job in the automotive industry or looking for advancement opportunities, then you might benefit from learning about some of the most lucrative options available in this career field. In this article, we list 10 high-paying jobs in the automotive industry, discuss their primary job duties and share the average salary for each role.

Related: 38 Interview Questions for Jobs Related to Cars (With Sample Answers)

10 high-paying jobs in the automotive industry

With job roles that range from sales and management to engineering and design, there are numerous opportunities for a career that involves working with vehicles. Here are 10 high-paying jobs with annual salaries over $60,000 in the automotive industry:

1. Automotive service manager

National average salary: $61,340 per year

Primary duties: An automotive service manager is responsible for overseeing an entire service center or dealership. They're in charge of hiring, training and supervising other team members. Automotive service managers develop financial and business objectives for their organization, create marketing plans and meet with other senior leaders to review their results. They also complete administrative tasks, such as maintaining inventory and service records. When a customer has an inquiry or concern, the automotive service manager is often responsible for assisting them.

2. Auto body technician

National average salary: $62,633 per year

Primary duties: An auto body technician repairs damaged vehicles. They typically work on cars that were involved in an accident or collision. Auto body technicians may remove and replace parts of the vehicle, buff out scratches, pop out dents and repaint the exterior to ensure everything matches. When a customer brings their vehicle into an auto body shop for repairs, auto body technicians help develop an estimate of the projected cost. They also create an itemized bill once their work is complete.

Read more: Learn About Being an Automotive Technician

3. Auto estimator

National average salary: $64,580 per year

Primary duties: An auto estimator calculates how much vehicle repairs may cost a customer. They work with auto insurance companies and vendors to develop an accurate quote and guide customers through getting their vehicle fixed after an accident. Also known as a collision estimator, an auto estimator may assess the car in person and review photo or video evidence to determine the extent of the damage and what condition the vehicle was in before the accident.

4. Car sales executive

National average salary: $68,010 per year

Primary duties: A car sales executive helps customers find a vehicle in their price range that meets their needs. They show customers around the car dealership, answer their questions, highlight key vehicle characteristics and allow customers to test drive their choice of cars. A car sales executive also organizes paperwork, fills out contracts and guides customers through the financial process of securing an auto loan. They're responsible for negotiating prices and qualifying buyers before closing each sale.

5. Industrial designer

National average salary: $69,816 per year

Primary duties: Industrial designers create blueprints and concepts for a wide variety of products, including vehicles. They use their knowledge of engineering and their creative skill set to draft layouts of different vehicle components, such as doors, fenders, headlamps and mirrors. They also develop prototypes and models of their designs. Industrial designers work closely with auto engineers to make sure all the dimensions in their drawings are correct. Their primary goal is to create innovative, efficient and visually appealing vehicles for manufacturers.

6. Truck driver

National average salary: $70,447 per year

Primary duties: Truck drivers transport products and goods from one location to another. They operate large vehicles, such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, to move large shipments. In addition to driving these vehicles, truck drivers are responsible for conducting routine maintenance inspections to make sure they're safe. They may also complete basic repairs, such as changing the oil or replacing a tire.

Read more: Learn About Being a Truck Driver

7. Mechanical designer

National average salary: $71,418 per year

Primary duties: Mechanical designers who work in the automotive industry draft, develop and test vehicles. They work closely with other designers and engineers to create new concepts for vehicles and conduct performance safety tests. Mechanical designers may also troubleshoot design flaws for recalled vehicles to identify the issue and resolve it. They use advanced software programs to develop 2D and 3D designs, review existing blueprints and optimize features as needed.

8. Diesel technician

National average salary: $72,613 per year

Primary duties: A diesel technician works strictly with vehicles that have diesel engines. Also known as diesel service technicians and diesel mechanics, these professionals inspect, maintain and repair large vehicles. Some common types of vehicles that have diesel engines include buses, trucks and tractor-trailers. Diesel technicians may also inspect and repair electrical systems and test diesel engines to ensure they comply with emission regulations.

9. Quality assurance manager

National average salary: $72,678 per year

Primary duties: A quality assurance manager who works in the automotive industry inspects vehicles to ensure they're safe and comply with regulations. If they work for a manufacturing company, they may inspect vehicle components to make sure everything operates correctly and mitigate the risks of potential recalls. In an auto body setting, quality assurance managers review vehicles to ensure all the necessary repairs are complete before customers pay for their services.

Read more: Learn About Being a Quality Manager

10. Electrical engineer

National average salary: $91,231 per year

Primary duties: Electrical engineers who work in the automotive industry specialize in designing, testing, troubleshooting and repairing electrical vehicle components. They may work on vehicle safety systems, controls, infotainment systems or vehicle communication devices. They may also assist in the design of electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles. Electrical engineers collaborate with designers, quality assurance specialists and other engineers to design innovative cars that are safe and reliable.

Read more: Learn About Being an Electrical Engineer

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