About

Automotive Careers

Your local automobile dealership has entry-level positions, with no limit on advancement opportunities, and internships in a variety of areas that may interest you.  New Vehicle Dealerships employ more than 1 million people in the United States today, in a wide range of occupations including management, administrative support, sales, financing, insurance, service and repair.  Here are some of the exciting opportunities that may exist at your local automobile dealership:

Salespeople

Salespeople are the front-line professionals representing the dealership, as well as the manufacturer of the products they sell.  There are over 230 million vehicles on the road in the U.S.  A salesperson's job is to make sure that when one of those vehicles is purchased in their dealership that it's done in a professional and pleasant atmosphere.  Retail salespeople help customers decide what model of vehicle they want and what features suit their needs. In addition to having vast knowledge of the vehicles they sell, good salespeople are highly motivated, enjoy working with people and are able to express themselves well.  Most new sales professionals receive extensive on-the-job training, which in some cases may include classroom learning.  Success in automobile sales depends largely upon a person's ability to win the respect and trust of prospective customers. Entry-level salespeople make about $25,000 per year, and top salespeople can earn $60,000 per year, or more.

Service Technician

Keeping cars and trucks in good working condition becomes more and more of a challenge every year.  Automotive service technicians must continually adapt to changing technology and repair procedures as vehicle components and systems become increasingly sophisticated.  In addition to understanding how automobiles work, service technicians must have extensive knowledge of mechanical, electrical and computer technology. They must be able to interpret the customers' complaint, diagnose the cause of a problem, and finally, repair the offending component.  Technicians use the latest in diagnostic and repair equipment including computers and on board diagnostic schematics.  Entry-level technicians may spend a large part of their day involved in maintenance and light repair, in other words, preventative maintenance.  Successful technicians are mechanically inclined, have good mechanical reasoning as well as reading and math skills, and a desire to succeed in a highly skilled profession.  Refined diagnostic problem-solving skills are essential, and chemistry, electronics and computer training are also required.  Qualified technicians are paid well, because they are in such high demand.  Annually, the estimated 840,000 service technicians in dealerships perform over 200 million repairs.  An entry-level technician earns about $20,000 annually, and the best technicians can earn $100,000 per year or more.  Technicians who work on heavy-duty trucks can earn even more.

Service Consultant

Service consultants, sometimes called service advisors, are basically interpreters between the customers and the service technicians.  They schedule vehicles for service, and translate the customer complaint into technical language for the technicians.  Service consultants also keep customers informed about the repairs to their vehicles.  Service consultants must have a general knowledge of how vehicles work, and possess good conversational and customer relations skills.

Parts Department Employees

Working in the parts department of an automobile dealership means knowing where parts are located, how those parts operate, and to which vehicles they belong.  Parts department employees will encounter inquiries from their own service technicians, independent repair shops, and customers who do their own repair work.  Some Parts Department positions include the pick-up and delivery person, parts helper, shipping and receiving clerk, counter salespeople and Parts Department Manager.  Automobile dealership parts departments have an inventory management and control system that allows the part department employees to check current inventory, order parts from the manufacturer and charge parts to a customer repair order.  Parts department employees need a technical background, which many gain from working in the service department, good organizational skills, a keen eye for detail, and they should enjoy working with people.

The Parts Department Manager is responsible for the hiring, training and supervising of parts department staff, as well as parts inventory control, parts merchandizing, displays and advertising.

Office Manager

A dealership's Office Manager is responsible for organizing, supervising and coordinating administrative operations including payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable, inventory control, benefits management and human resources.

Finance and Insurance Manager

The Financing and Insurance Manager establishes relationships with financing and insurance companies and sells those products to vehicle purchasers at a dealership.  A finance and insurance manager must have good math, computer and accounting skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills.  The F&I Manager is typically very detail oriented.

General Manager

The top administrative position at a dealership is the General Manager, who is often the dealership owner as well.  The General Manager is responsible for the successful operation of the entire dealership.  This position requires excellent business management skills and experience in all dealership departments.

Porter

The job of porters is to wash wax, polish and maintain control of the new vehicle inventory.  In many cases, porters drive vehicles for receipt and delivery, and drive courtesy vehicles and or shuttles.  Being a porter is a great entry-level position in the service department of the automobile dealership.

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7/2/2015 2:33:01 PM

The Chicago Auto Show Changed their cover photo.

7/2/2015 1:01:50 PM

We are honored to sponsor the The Chicago Auto Show social media contest for the BBQ for the Troops initiative. Head over to DriveChicago and enter for your chance to win a barbecue hosted by our very own Jeff Shapiro for you and 50 of your friends

7/2/2015 10:03:02 AM

We love looking back on past auto shows, so this #ThrowbackThursday is dedicated to these awesome Ford race cars at the 2000 Chicago Auto Show! #FordRacing

7/1/2015 3:46:23 PM

We're extremely excited to announce the Ultimate Backyard BBQ Contest! Head over to DriveChicago and share why you're passionate about supporting our troops and you could win a catered BBQ lunch from Real Urban Barbecue for 50 of your friends...well, make that 49 because a Chicago Blackhawksambassador is coming to crash the party! Also Big Green Egg Chicago will leave behind a brand new grill. Enter here now and share with friends to vote for your entry!: http://bit.ly/1JwVE9P

7/1/2015 9:31:03 AM

Want to host your very own Ultimate Backyard BBQ for the Troops, including a private cooking demo from Real Urban Barbecue’s chef, sample taste bud tantalizing BBQ, win a Big Green Egg grill and even mingle with a Chicago Blackhawks ambassador? Starting July 1, share why you’re passionate about supporting the troops with #BBQ4Troops. Stay tuned for more details

7/1/2015 8:34:28 AM

Stay tuned for more details later today for how you can win the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue all in support of our local troops! #BBQ4Trooos

6/29/2015 10:13:03 AM

Watching this video gets us even more excited for #CAS16! It can’t come soon enough! http://bit.ly/1LymleY

6/27/2015 9:21:04 AM

Want to host your very own Ultimate Backyard BBQ for the Troops, including a private cooking demo from Real Urban Barbecue’s chef, sample taste bud tantalizing BBQ, win a Big Green Egg grill and even mingle with a Chicago Blackhawks ambassador? Starting July 1, share why you’re passionate about supporting the troops with #BBQ4Troops. Stay tuned for more details

6/26/2015 2:26:44 PM

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, July 18! Chicagoland car dealers are on a summertime mission to help raise money for the USO of Illinois and our local troops! Visit www.DriveChicago.com for more details. #BBQ4Troops

6/25/2015 11:37:08 AM

#ThrowbackThursday! Looking at old car models brings back so many memories. We want to know, what was your first car? #BlastFromThePast #DeLorean

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7/2/2015 11:11:57 PM

RT @FordAutoShows: Let's head back to '94 on #throwbackthursday w/ the @JurassicPark #FordExplorer from the @ChiAutoShow! #JurassicWorld ht…

7/2/2015 2:45:01 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: This month, visit your dealership’s service dept. & dump your loose cup holder change to support local troops! #BBQ4Troops

7/2/2015 2:41:27 PM

RT @ChiAutoShow: This month, visit your dealership’s service dept. & dump your loose cup holder change to support local troops! #BBQ4Troops

7/2/2015 2:40:01 PM

This month, visit your dealership’s service dept. & dump your loose cup holder change to support local troops! #BBQ4Troops

7/2/2015 1:37:10 PM

@FordAutoShows @JurassicPark @ChiAutoShow @Ford Does #JurassicWorld have a 2016 Explorer?

7/2/2015 12:43:24 PM

RT @FordAutoShows: Let's head back to '94 on #throwbackthursday w/ the @JurassicPark #FordExplorer from the @ChiAutoShow! #JurassicWorld ht…

7/2/2015 12:36:05 PM

RT @FordAutoShows: Let's head back to '94 on #throwbackthursday w/ the @JurassicPark #FordExplorer from the @ChiAutoShow! #JurassicWorld ht…

7/2/2015 12:34:07 PM

RT @FordAutoShows: Let's head back to '94 on #throwbackthursday w/ the @JurassicPark #FordExplorer from the @ChiAutoShow! #JurassicWorld ht…

7/2/2015 12:33:01 PM

Let's head back to '94 on #throwbackthursday w/ the @JurassicPark #FordExplorer from the @ChiAutoShow! #JurassicWorld http://t.co/inKrTvODV6

7/2/2015 11:43:41 AM

@ChiAutoShow Did u know about the 1st Women's Equality Exhibit in #Chicago? Only 6% funded. http://t.co/f4lESAqrhP #CampaignEquality