Automotive Electrician

Automotive electricians manufacture, install, repair and maintain electrical systems and equipment in motor vehicles. 

Automotive electricians repair and maintain the electrical  systems in vehicles, and they need to have a thorough knowledge of starter mechanisms, lights, windscreen wipers, hooters and indicators, as well as accessories such as electrically controlled windows and car music systems.  Although the work is fairly routine on the whole, an electrician with ambition will find opportunities to progress to more specialised training to be able to diagnose electrical defects using the efficient modern equipment.

Motor vehicles have two electrical systems, namely an ignition system and an accessory system. The ignition system consists mainly of the battery, distributor, induction coil, high-tension wires and spark plugs. The starter motor, alternator or generator, voltage regulators, lights, windscreen-wipers, hooters, indicators, electrically operated windows, aerials, radios, tape players, revolution counters and fuel gauges are part of the second system.

They also need to have a thorough knowledge of ignition systems since defects in accessory systems may have a detrimental effect upon vehicles’ electrical systems as a whole. Automotive electricians are trained as tune-up specialists who can therefore understand the influence of the accessory system on the ignition and carburetor system.  They do a fair amount of routine work such as replacing bulbs and setting regulators. Specialised work includes tracing faults with special equipment.

Because of the modern equipment now in use, the dirty greasy conditions which used to be part of the job, are a thing of the past.  They work in motor assembly plants, or workshops of garages or car dealers. 


  • motor vehicle manufacturers and garages

  • electrical equipment repair shops

  • shops specialising in fitting audio car and speed control systems

  • self-employment, with capital, start own business

Getting Started

  • make an appointment to speak to an automotive electrician about this type of career and ask to observe them at work.

  • try to obtain vacation work in an automotive electrical shop or garage


Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Gaborone University College of Law and Professional Studies, Kigali Independent University, Kyambogo University, Lovedale Public TVET College, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College, New Era College, Rundu Vocational Training Centre, Tshwane North TVET College, Vuselela TVET College

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