The car remains in demand even during the crisis. According to 2020 EY Mobility Consumer Index, a survey of more than 3,300 consumers in nine countries (including Germany, India, South Korea, Great Britain and the USA), a third of people without a car are planning to buy a car in the first half of 2021. According to the survey, 45 percent of all potential first-time car buyers belong the generation of 24 to 39 year olds.
The car manufacturers are under pressure to innovate. More than ever, they have to meet ambitious goals such as climate protection and e-mobility. The technical deficit compared to competitors like Tesla is always an issue. The US electrical pioneer plans to open its production site in Brandenburg this year. According to the Association of the German Automobile Industry (VDA), German manufacturers also want to offer 150 different electric or hybrid cars by 2023.
For those whose dream is to work in the automotive industry, this means that IT and sustainability in particular will shape the job opportunities around the car now and in the future. Employees in the automotive sector can still expect higher wages than the German average. This applies in production as well as in highly specialized fields of activity in research, development and management.
Which specialists are in demand and what salary they can achieve
The average salary in the vehicle construction and supplier industry is around 68,800 euros gross annually, making it one of the top three best-paid industries, behind the banking and pharmaceuticals industries. This is a result of the StepStone Salary Report 2020, for which the job platform, which, like NewsABC.net, belongs to Axel Springer SE, evaluated the gross salary information of around 128,000 specialists and executives.
A completed degree in subjects such as law, computer science, engineering or the natural sciences will therefore drive your wages up particularly high. But even without a university degree, the salary is right: the average wage here is almost 48,000 euros. A mechatronics technician earns an average of 53,000 euros.
Anyone who can also come up with knowledge of IT and sustainability has the best chances. “In the future, the industry will need experts who help shape this change – these are engineers, but also specialists who are familiar with new technologies and know how to manufacture, install and maintain new systems,” confirms André Schaefer, salary expert at Stepstone. “That will continue to be reflected in generous salaries.”
Top earners in the auto industry: lawyers, computer scientists, chemists, engineers
Work areas related to software development in the automotive sector are developing particularly well, observes Harald Proff, Head of the Automotive Sector at Deloitte. This includes the area of autonomous driving.
He also sees very good prospects for specialists in electrochemistry, electrical engineering and power engineering. “They develop batteries and many technical functions of vehicles.” Activities in traditional management functions are also promising.
In his opinion, jobs on the customer side continue to be of great importance. “This includes specialists who, through the ‘Digital Customer Journey’ in sales and marketing, for example, connect the vehicle and the customer,” says Proff.
While computer scientists and mathematicians in the industry average 77,600 euros per year, engineers earn not much less at 76,400 euros. The highest salaries, however, are for managers in the finance, sales, marketing or human resources departments. Employees with a law degree achieved average salaries of EUR 99,700 in 2020.
The salary that employees can achieve depends not only on their level of experience, but also on the company’s annual bonus payments. There are also regional differences: In places with the production facilities of well-known automobile manufacturers, employees earn better, for example in Rüsselsheim or Sindelfingen. The southern federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are traditionally “car countries”.
The east-west divide, on the other hand, according to which companies in east Germany pay less than west German federal states, could be softened in the future: with the Tesla location in Grünheide in Brandenburg.