Automotive Electrician


An automotive electrician installs, maintains and repairs electrical wiring, and electrical and electronic systems in vehicles and marine equipment.

Tasks and Duties:

  • may discuss problems with clients
  • use diagnostic equipment to locate electrical and electronic problems
  • carry out tests to diagnose the faulty component
  • record any other potential faults the diagnostic test equipment tells them are likely to occur in the future
  • repair automotive electrical systems
  • replace electrical components on vehicles and clean components
  • work on complex electronic systems, such as engine management systems, ABS brakes, airbags, and electronically controlled gearboxes
  • fix problems on instrument panels, such as speedometers and fuel and oil gauges
  • install mobile entertainment systems such as car radios and CD players
  • carry out vehicle engine tune-ups


Automotive electricians need to have technical and problem-solving skills and an eye for detail. They also need to have organisational ability, computer skills, communication skills and they need to be skilled at working with small, delicate components.


Automotive electricians have to know about basic engineering, automotive electronics, electrical theory and circuit diagrams, and the basic mechanics of vehicles.

Personal Qualities:

Automotive electricians should be accurate, reliable, logical, persistent and adaptable. They need to be able to work well with others and accept their advice. They should also be careful, safety-conscious and able to work well under pressure.

Physical Requirements:

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

Educational Requirements:

Automotive electricians need to have at least three years’ secondary education with NCEA Level 1 in English, maths, science, graphics, and workshop technology preferred.

Entry Requirements:

Automotive electricians need to hold a current drivers licence.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for automotive electricians includes electrical or mechanical work, computer work and any work involving vehicles.

Training on the job

Skills are gained on the job and through annual block courses with the theory training gained through distance learning (correspondence). Automotive electrical apprentices complete a Level 4 National Certificate in Automotive Electrical Engineering. Automotive electricians may also attend training courses on particular vehicles and new equipment.

Work Places

Automotive electricians work in workshops, garages and for car franchises.

Further Information

Equipment automotive electricians use includes hand and power tools, diagnostic and testing equipment, electronic equipment, protective clothing and computers

Website link