The US automotive repair and maintenance industry includes about 165,000 locations with total annual revenue of $85 billion, according to Hoovers. The largest companies offering automotive jobs in this sector include Meineke, Midas, Monro Muffler Brake, Precision Auto Care and Safelite Group. The auto service industry is highly fragmented. The 50 largest companies generate less than 10 percent of revenue. Most jobs in automotive service are with independent shops and one of the country's 45,000 auto dealerships.
US auto manufacturing is dominated by GM, Ford and Chrysler and increasingly by Asian automakers such as Toyota and Honda. Detroit's Big Three ring up about $200 billion in annual sales, according to Hoovers. Car dealers bring in about $700 billion at retail.
Automotive Job Market
Automotive service technicians and mechanics held more than 720,000 jobs in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nearly 1.7 million people held jobs at motor vehicle and parts dealers as of June 2012, the BLS reports. A further 153,310 worked in motor vehicle manufacturing as of May 2011.
Much job growth in the automotive service industry will be concentrated toward the high and low ends of technological expertise. All vehicles need oil changes and brake shoe replacement, so the skills required to perform these low-tech tasks will remain in demand. At the high end, computer diagnostics of engines and other vehicle systems are continuously evolving, so auto technicians with the ability to keep up with these changes should find automotive work. As carmakers strive to make their products safer and more fuel efficient in response to consumer demand and government mandate, automotive engineers should find ample automotive job opportunities.
New car dealers, having suffered a wave of consolidation through the 2007-2009 recession, are now cautiously increasing headcount, according to an April 2012 IBISWorld report.
Common automotive careers include auto mechanic, automotive service manager, service writer, automotive sales manager, automotive mechanical engineer, automotive applications engineer and automotive plant manager.
Automotive service technicians and mechanics earned mean wages of $38,560 in May 2011, according to the BLS. Average salaries for mechanical engineers working in motor vehicle manufacturing were $95,080. Team assemblers earned an average of $47,570.