Working at an auto parts store offers a host of opportunities if you learn how to appreciate the inner workings of the automotive industry.
You have to know your goal for working in an auto parts store: is it just a stepping stone, a way to earn extra cash while studying or just another job in between jobs?
Or would you like to take a passion for cars more seriously and would want to scale up to different positions in the industry eventually? Either way, you still have to have enough technical know-how and good communication skills to advance.
Training Needed for a Job in an Auto Parts Store
You’ll increase your chances of being accepted by taking auto repair classes (high school level) or gaining training through a trade school or community education. Employers will also provide on the job training. Having previous retail work experience is also a plus.
The Qualifications Needed to Work in an Auto Parts Store
Whether you are a car enthusiast looking to take your love for automobiles a step further or just looking for a temp job, you’ll still need to put your best foot forward. An entry-level position right now at a big auto retailer will ask for the following requirements:
- Must be 18 or above
- you will be assessed if you are a good fit for the workplace: work ethic, can work well within a team and your work environment preferences
- must have a passion for automobiles, with technical understanding about auto parts and repair
- there can also be internship programs, but it will be mostly sales associate positions that require technical auto knowledge and excellent customer service skills.
Jobs in an Auto Parts Store
Working in an auto parts store means being a helpful resource person with enough technical knowledge about auto parts, who is ready to help any customer.
3 entry-level positions that start at minimum wage (can be $10 – $18 per hour, as of 2019) are mostly:
1. Part Sales Clerks / Associates
Sales clerks are the go-to people who assist customers with detailed info about auto parts products. They also provide helpful reviews and answer queries. Building rapport is a must, as their main objective is to successfully sell by having a great connection with customers.
2. Customer Service Representatives
Much like part sales associates, they work primarily to sell but also perform minor technical duties like diagnosing mechanical issues or checking/replacing common auto parts like car batteries. Their main task is to work the cash register and ring up orders. They also need to have great communication skills to engage customers.
3. Parts Delivery Drivers
Delivery drivers are responsible for moving merchandise and are required to be at least 21 years old with a valid driving license. They are tasked to do the most efficient delivery routes while representing the company’s brand on the road. Like service reps and sales clerks, they also need to have good communication skills. This is required to update and check on deliveries and schedules. They need to be physically fit to be able to lift and move at least 50 pounds of merch on average.
Other positions for more seasoned professionals include management posts for:
store branches, field or territory areas.
These positions focus on motivating staff, recruitment and hiring, as well as managing stores or a division of stores. People who work at a management level can earn between close to $48,000 – to $90,000 yearly, as of 2019.
*Check the Bureau of Labor Statistics site for the latest in average salary tables in the automotive industry
Common Auto Parts Store Working Conditions
Sales Counter work can include selling merchandise in-store, and also tending to online and phone inquiries and sales. Other working set up can comprise:
- working from 8 am to 10 pm on weekdays and Saturdays with whole day work on Sundays for big auto retailers
- being on your feet on the sales floor most of the time
- locating parts from among thousands, within a vast catalogue, through a computer or internet search
- attending possibly to demanding customers
- will have multiple opportunities to learn on the job every day
- some auto parts companies have laid back cultures
- there will also be night shift work in some workplaces
Common Auto Parts Employee Reviews
Working in auto parts retail got an average of 3-star reviews (out of 5) for work-life balance, job security, salary and benefits, management and culture.