Most people would love to pursue their passions at the same time/place they pursue their careers, however, many find a “job” in their field simply means something that pays their bills and occasionally leaves enough to fund the passion and/or hobbies that they have.
We personally don’t believe this a healthy or good lifestyle, but we also know one’s passion(s) have a large influence on whether it’s something they can be simultaneously pursued as a career or not.
The good news is if you’re a car person and your true passion is cars (which many of us at Automotive.com are, hence the writing of this article), there’s a pretty good chance you will be able to match your passion with you job.
The automobile and truck industry is huge, and marketing, sales, engineering, racing and the specialized fields within are also huge and are nowhere near shrinking like the media and the pictures from Detroit would make you believe.
Some grew up working on cars as a hobby, but may have fallen in love with autos later in life, in one form or another. Cars as a career may not have been seen as a traditional route for you in the eyes of your parents, and this is especially true of women, and many are told that they need to grow up and that a childhood passion cannot support them, let alone a family.
In this day and age though, that can hardly be said to be true. With millionaires and billionaires made from social networking sites seemingly everyday, there is certainly hope for you if you wish to pursue your passion of cars—cars are something that most of us use everyday, just like, say, Facebook. As such, it’s obviously a very important field.
One of the most obvious of course to consider for car lovers is car/auto racing. While this daring, edgy sport was done simply for fun in the past, it is quite lucrative nowadays and there’s billions of dollars involved and whole company reputations at stake. We can’t even begin to list the number of career opportunities that exist in auto racing, but trust us there’s a lot. The key to getting in though is to be involved, and be knowledgeable. The racing community is tight-knit, and it’s hard to b.s. your way into a job.
For instance, if you were interviewing for an assistant marketing coordinator position at Red Bull Racing, do you think they’ll take you seriously if you don’t even know that Red Bull won last year’s Formula One season? Or say if you want to apply as a Jr. Mechanical Engineer at Toyota but somehow let it slip during your interview that you think Toyotas are boring, do you think you will be hired?
Of course these are pretty extreme examples, but it goes to show that in the automotive industry hiring managers are usually looking for someone like them—someone that actually enjoys the products they build and/or sell.
Another high-paying field is automotive design and model development. If you love cars, mechanics and want to develop your design and computer skills to the max than this career path may be right for you.
Car companies always employ a design team to work on creating the design of future cars and even to create physical models so a car’s shape can be seen in real life (BMW for instance creates a full-sized CNC-machined aluminum version of each car before they build it). These designs and even print-outs or digital version are highly prized and top-secret until release as they can directly impact the reputation and image of the company. Auto designers are in fact among the top earners of all designers, and also one of the most prestigious. However, the top earners on average have almost twenty years in the business.
This shows it is not impossible but it takes time, hard work and patience just like in any field.
Marketing, public relations, business development, human resources, and finance are also key in the auto industry, just like elsewhere. If you wish to bond your love for cars with a career in one of these fields, you’re in luck but remember that your earning potential is directly linked to the size of the company and the demand for your skill.
For instance, a company that has global operations certainly needs a strong and diverse human resources team. All companies need accountants and finance people, and what better than if they like cars themselves? This has historically been rare in the auto industry, but is getting better. A developing business will also see the need for business development and will need to hire many operations and management personnel.
There are many opportunities for management roles in the automotive industry, more than most would think. While some are in a factory/plant setting, most are in an office environment, which is also good.
In summary, the automotive industry and all its specialized sub-industries provide the opportunity for a great mix of one’s passions with their desire for a great income.
The decision to become qualified for a job should be accompanied by the knowledge of wherein lies the potential. Opportunities range from highly specialized fields such as design and mechanics, to on-the-job acquired skills such as racing and sales. One may also pursue a skill indirectly applicable such as electronics or civil engineering/design. Whatever you choose, know that dedication and hard work is what will help you earn your high-level salary.
But also know you’re already ahead of the curve and ahead of other job seekers simply because you already have a genuine, legitimate and monetizable passion… a passion for cars.
Car passion career image from Shutterstock