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  • Can Teens Work at a Car Dealership?

Back in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the US, teens could easily obtain jobs working in auto-related job. However, the business has changed since that time, and service dealers, especially, look for training, especially for technician work.

This blog will cover the following primary areas:

  • Types of Jobs that Teens Can Do at a Car Dealership
  • How to Apply for a Job
  • Working in Parts – The Main Responsibilities
  • Washing and Detailing – The Primary Tasks of the Job
  • A Few Final Pointers

Use the following information to prepare a resume or establish your interest in obtaining a specific job in the auto field.

Types of Jobs that Teens Can Do at A Car Dealership

Washing Cars

Generally, today, jobs in the automotive field are limited to working at washing cars at an auto dealership. The pay for this type of work is typically minimum wage.

Working as A Porter: Typical Job Responsibilities

However, that being said, some dealerships will also hire teens as porters. The porter’s job entails picking up parts for cars from other dealerships. Therefore, you will need to have a driver’s license in order to do the work.

Porters also clean off autos on the dealership’s lot. Cleaning includes clearing off snow in the wintertime. The work also entails prepping cars that have already been purchased, filling up the cars with gas, and taking out the paper mats. Moving the cars on the lot is included as well.

Where to Begin – What You Need to Know

In summation then, your best bet for obtaining employment or experience is to get a job, regardless of its official name, in cleaning and detailing. You might also find a position as a parts runner. Again, without experience, it is difficult to obtain a job as a technician. Also, any job that necessitates moving vehicles around requires that you know how to drive a manual transmission.

The young people who are lucky enough to gain employment in a car dealership or parts store usually like the work, especially if they are interested in automobiles in general. They learn a lot in an automotive career. So, besides applying to car dealerships, don’t rule out submitting applications to reputable auto repair shops in your area.

How to Apply for A Job

One of the best ways to express an interest is to walk in a car dealership and talk, first, to the sales manager. While he probably cannot hire you for a sales job, he can direct you to the other departments in the facility. Many dealers have, in addition to sales, body shops and parts departments. Showing this type of initiatives may not get you a job out of the starting gate but it will hone your skills in applying and interviewing.

Also, working at a car wash or quick lube center are both great experiences. Most of these places hire applicants at least 16 or 18 years of age, depending on the state labor laws for their industry. Some places will hire you if you are under 18 years old because they can pay you under the minimum wage.

Obtaining Work for a “Training” Salary

In some instances, they auto dealerships can hire you and pay you a “training” salary for a period of 90 days. You might use this strategy if you are under 18 and wish to obtain the needed experience. Search the law for your state online and see if you can work out some kind of hiring and “training” arrangement for a three months’ span of time.

Working in Parts – The Main Responsibilities

If you do get a job in the parts department, the main responsibilities are as follows:

  • Running parts out to the service technicians
  • Picking up parts at various part shops around town
  • Logging inventory

Washing and Detailing – The Primary Tasks of the Job

Exterior Detailing

Working at the wash rack includes detailing autos. Detailing normally covers exterior detailing and interior detailing. Exterior detailing entails cleaning and restoring the surface finish of a car. The chrome, windows, wheels, and tires are detailed during the process.

Various techniques and products are used, depending on the auto’s surface type, and the dealership’s preference. Some of the products include, but are not limited to, acid-free degreasers (to remove soil and dirt), detergents, detail clay (to remove contaminants), and polishes and washes (to enhance reflectivity). Tools of the trade include brushes, applicators, and towels.

Interior Detailing

Interior detailing entails a deep cleaning of the cabin of a car or truck. Different methods and products are used to address such materials as synthetic carpet, vinyl, natural fibers, leather, carbon fiber composites, and plastics.

A Few Final Pointers

Many major dealerships have at last one lot worker, or a crew of washers. You normally will be paid minimum wage. If a dealership’s minimum age requirement is 18 years old, then it usually is done for insurance purposes.

If you are older, you may also work as a service driver, taking people to work while their car is in the shop or picking up stranded motorists who need their cars repaired.

A lot attendant, in some instances, washes the cars and drives the shuttle as well. They often are expected to do a number of odd jobs, all for minimum wage. Therefore, in order to apply to this type of job, you have to be hard-working and dedicated, and love being around cars. If you have the right attitude, you can go far in the field. However, sometimes doing “grunt” work is where you have to start.

In most cases, a teen will begin as a lot porter. This means you must possess a clean driving record, have a keen eye for detail, and are able to drive a stick. The best time to apply is a weekday morning, which is a slow period for the car dealership sales people. The best attire to wear is a polo shirt and khakis. Don’t display any jewelry or tattoos. As indicated above, ask to speak to the sales manager when inquiring about openings.

You might also think about applying at an auto auction if you are at least 18 years old. Workers at auctions often drive the vehicles during auction day, or assist in the set-up when an auction takes place.

So, do you think you have the right skills to work at a car dealership? 

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