7 jobs that can earn you a 6-figure salary in the $4 trillion auto industry

Range Rover Gerry McGovern

Summary List Placement

The global auto industry is, to be blunt, huge. It generates trillions in annual revenue and keeps millions employed. 

The pay can also be pretty good. A unionized hourly worker at vehicle assembly plant in the US can bring home in the mid-five figures every year, and with seniority and overtime, get close to $100,000. If you survey the entire industry, which supports everything from engineering to banking to insurance, you could easily find numerous six-figure salaries.

At the moment, with automakers enduring massive changes and undertaking layoffs to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, employment in the industry is in limbo. But demand for cars isn’t likely to vanish, so these careers remain good bets.

Here’s a sampling:

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F&I manager — $133,000

“F&I” is auto-industry shorthand for “finance and insurance.” If you’ve ever bought or leased a vehicle from an auto dealer, you’ve most likely interacted with an F&I professional. They’re the last stage in the purchasing process, where you: are walked through the details of your lease or loan and warranty; get the opportunity to buy into extras that are dealership exclusive; deal with local DMV regulations and paperwork; and can have insurance coverage arranged.

Sometimes, your dealer will introduce you to an F&I staffer during the buying process to review lease and loan options. The dealership, if it’s franchised to sell major brands (Toyota, Ford, Cadillac, Mercedes, and so on), should have access to an automaker’s captive-finance arm, as well as a bunch of banks that can make loans to buyers of varying creditworthiness.

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Almost nobody walks into a dealership with bag of cash, so an F&I manager has a very big job: They need to figure how people from all walks of life can get across the car-buying/leasing finish line.

Dealers make money from selling cars, but they make their real profits acting as loan brokers, insurance brokers, and by selling things like extended warranties to customers. That’s why the F&I manager is well compensated — NADA reckons on average almost $133,000 a year — and often has special training or a certification.

Car designer — $100,000

The range is what one might expect here: Designers at the beginning of their careers make less than six figures, but the pay is still good, in the mid-fives.

Once you get some seniority, six figures is in sight. And if you become a major name in the field or oversee all design operations for a large automaker, you can rack up a lot more than $100,000.

An experienced designer at a top auto brand should spend their days dealing with a team of fellow designers, as well as meeting with the engineers who are determining how a vehicle is going to get built. They should also spend a lot of time sketching ideas, refining those ideas using computers drafting programs, and in some cases, creating physical clay models and even making full-size “tape” drawings on walls. And not all designers work on exteriors — everything from seats to sun …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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