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Automotive workers will continue to be in high demand for decades to come

Many predicted that, come the 21st century, we'd be getting from A to B via jet packs, hovercraft or teleporters. However, the internal combustion engine has managed to retain its central place in our society, resulting in a huge number of automotive jobs still being available 105 years after the first Model T rolled off the production line. These jobs can be divided into the following four broad categories.

Level 1

There are plenty of automotive positions available for those with minimal or no educational qualifications. Service station attendants, tyre or windscreen fitters, bicycle technicians, vehicle detailers, delivery drivers, car salespeople, car rental officers, car park attendants and taxi, bus, truck and train drivers all essentially learn on the job (sometimes after completing a short course to master the use of certain equipment). But if you're interested in becoming an industrial spray painter, radiator repairer, vehicle serviceperson or forklift operator you'll probably need to get a qualification from your local TAFE.

Level 2

To get one of these positions you usually need a skill level equal to a Certificate III or IV, at least three years' relevant experience or to be doing an apprenticeship. Most types of mechanic – light engine, light vehicle, motorcycle, heavy vehicle, brake and automotive – fall into this category as do marine and aircraft maintenance engineers. Panel beaters, vehicle body builders, exhaust fitter and repairers, engineering pattern makers and engine reconditioners are some of the other positions also in this category. To qualify for these types of jobs you will almost always need to do a TAFE NSW course.

Level 3

These are highly skilled jobs that require a diploma or advanced diploma from TAFE, a Registered Training Organisation or, more rarely, a university. Jobs in this category include mechanical engineering associate, army soldier technician, air force technician, navy technical sailor, transport administrator and electrical engineering associate.

Level 4

If you want to be mechanical, mechatronic, industrial or electrical engineer you'll need a bachelor degree from a university.

While lots of industries are being disrupted by technological change, mankind's long-running and still-passionate love affair with motorised transport suggests that automotive workers will continue to be in high demand for decades to come.