From dealerships, rental agencies and repair shops (and more), the Canadian automotive industry provides numerous fulfilling and long-lasting career opportunities. In fact, the Canadian automotive industry is the sixth largest on the planet, accounting for 25% of the country’s entire merchandise exports. According to the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, direct employment in the aftermarket (which deals with the manufacture, remanufacture, distribution, wholesaling and retailing of replacement parts, accessories, tools, equipment, accessories, chemicals and services) totaled 410,700 jobs in 2009.
Despite these numbers, you would be perfectly reasonable to assume that the industry’s job prospects have taken a hit in the last few years. The economic downturn in 2008, along with accelerated automation and global warming posed tough challenges and led to a 21% drop in new car sales…which obviously had a trickle down effect in all areas of automotive manufacturing, sales and repairs.
However, the industry has bounced back in the last two years, and as Windsor Star reporter Grace Macaluso recently reported, Canada’s share of North American light-vehicle production is now at an all-time high (the number now stands at 17.3% of North American vehicle production, which is up from pre-recession levels of 16.8%). Automotive Training Center director Zyg Strecha believes this increased production points to improved job opportunities, adding that, “New vehicle sales are also up a few percentage points over last year, so the economics and employment opportunities are there”.
Adding another extra boost is Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which has helped firms modernize their operations to create and maintain jobs. This follows the restructuring assistance the Canadian government provided to prevent the collapse of large companies, including Chrysler and GM, both of whom have repaid those loans in full. The rejuvenated strength of the industry’s biggest players, coupled with technological advances and the looming retirement of baby boomers, indicate that there are very bright job prospects in many segments of the vast auto industry.
If you are passionate about cars, therefore, now is the time to act on your dreams. To best prepare for these tremendous career opportunities, interested candidates should enroll in automotive training programs at auto repair schools with the best and most cutting edge training facilities. In order to step directly into the automotive workforce, students should look for automotive training programs that allow them to spend the maximum amount of time in real, industry standard auto repair shop environments. The best of these auto schools, for example, will use modern classrooms, bays, hoists, scanners for vehicle diagnostics and emissions testing, welding equipment, alignment hoists, modern paint booths and mixing rooms (for auto body repair) and much more.
Don’t be scared off by the news. Your career in the automotive industry is still within reach.