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Confident mid adult engineer examining car chassis at automobile industry. Handsome male supervisor is working on car part in factory. He is wearing reflective clothing.

Careers in car manufacturing

by Guy Murphy

Many young people in Knowsley will be thinking about potential careers and the routes they need to follow to get on the ladder. Over the coming weeks, we will profile different careers to help children and young make important decisions about their future career.

This week we are featuring some of the various roles in car manufacturing. Knowsley is home to the Land Rover factory plant, located in Halewood, where the iconic Range Rover Evoque is built.

We’ve highlighted some of the careers you could get into if you’re interested in working in car manufacturing below. You can find out even more via the National Careers Service www.nationalcareers.service.gov.uk

Car manufacturing workers build motor vehicles by assembling parts on a production line. Day to day tasks will vary depending on what part of the production line you work on, but could include:

  • attend shift briefings to get instructions and updates
  • fix engines and frames to vehicle chassis
  • assemble parts using robotic welders and hand tools
  • operate paint spraying equipment
  • fit interiors, wiring, lights, dashboards and windscreens
  • carry out quality control checks, using digital readouts and manual inspections
  • report production problems to supervisors
  • move finished vehicles to storage areas ready for shipping

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need to get a trainee job.

Courses include:

  • engineering
  • design and technology
  • manufacturing technology
  • preparing for work in engineering and manufacturing

 

Apprenticeship

You could apply to do a Lean Manufacturing Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, with a car manufacturer. This takes around one year to complete and is a mix of on-the-job training with learning in the classroom.

You could also train in battery production for the electric vehicle industry by doing a Battery Manufacturing Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Automotive engineers design, develop, test and build cars, vans and other automative vehicles. Depending on if you work in design, development or production, your day to day tasks could include:

  • body, chassis and engine systems
  • electrical and electronic instrumentation and control systems
  • thermodynamics, aerodynamics and fluid mechanics
  • fuel technology and emissions

You could:

  • turn design ideas into blueprints
  • research the safety, cost and environmental impact of designs
  • move designs into development by building prototypes
  • test products using computer simulations and physical models
  • assess components' strengths, weaknesses, performance and safety
  • plan the production run
  • redesign machine tools, equipment and processes to make new parts
  • monitor costs and production schedules
  • oversee quality control

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree, before joining a company graduate training scheme.

Relevant subjects include:

  • mechanical engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • design engineering
  • manufacturing engineering
  • automotive engineering

A course with a work placement or an internship will be especially useful.

Some car manufacturing companies offer undergraduate year in industry placements that give you the chance to develop industry skills and earn a salary.

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree

 

Apprenticeship

You could do a degree apprenticeship and combine learning in the workplace with doing an engineering degree at an approved university.

Relevant degree apprenticeships include:

  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Product design and development engineer

If you already have a degree in a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) subject, you may be able to do a Level 7 postgraduate engineer apprenticeship.

Applications with automotive engineering companies are competitive and usually open at set times of the year.

Check company websites regularly for application deadline information.

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship