An auto electrician is a person who works with the electrical system on automobiles. He or she may be responsible for the initial wiring of the vehicle when it is being assembled, or the auto electrician may end up repairing existing electrical systems within an older vehicle. This type of repairman must be trained in electrical systems, and in most cases, at least a high school education will be required to obtain a job in the field. Most electricians will either attend training courses or work as an apprentice to learn the necessary skills; certification may be required in certain parts of the world.
One of the primary job duties of an auto electrician is diagnosing problems with an electrical system in a vehicle. This can be difficult depending on the type of vehicle, since some electrical systems are more complex than others. Certain tools can be used to perform a diagnostic test, and the auto electrician must know how to use these tools properly and safely. Electrical shocks are job hazards that the auto electrician must learn how to avoid for his own safety and the safety of others, as well as the preservation of the equipment within the vehicle.
Once a proper diagnosis has been made, the auto electrician must write up an accurate price quote for the customer. This ensures the costs of the repair are covered and the customer has an accurate idea of how much he or she will spend to get the problem fixed. The electrician must therefore have a solid understanding of how much each piece of equipment costs as well as how long it will take to perform the repair. This process can be difficult for new electricians, but experienced tradesmen will develop a good understanding of how long repairs take and what complications are possible.
Modifications to existing electrical systems are common as well. The auto electrician must be able to install new technology, such as GPS units, radios and mp3 players, custom lights, and other accessories such as winches without damaging existing electrical units. In some cases, a separate electrical system may be necessary to power some of the accessories and electrical units in a vehicle. This is most common in larger trucks or RVs, which will often contain several batteries instead of just one, which is common on small cars and trucks. The electrician must be able to install or modify such systems to accommodate the new accessories.