Building Your Career in Automotive Fixed Operations

  • Published on April 2

Have you ever thought about a complete career change? As most people out there, we are always looking for a change or to try something new. One career path that is always changing and has the opportunity for growth and advancement is working in an Auto Dealership, and we are not talking about the Sales side.

Often overlooked but is the backbone of any dealership is the Fixed Ops Department, and they are always looking for candidates to join their team. The Fixed Ops department includes service, parts, and the body shop. It’s where customer’s vehicles are maintained, repaired, and upgraded. The Fixed Ops department is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention and is important to the profitability of any dealership.

Qualifications for a Fulfilling Career in Fixed Operations

Now, you may ask yourself, do I have the right qualifications or experience to start a career in Fixed Ops? To be successful in the fixed operations department, you will need to have an understanding of the automotive systems and technology that you will be using on a daily basis. In other words, you will need to know the basics of auto maintenance and how to use the tools needed to fix any problem that arises. This could mean that you would enroll in automotive technology classes or receive hands-on experience in vehicle maintenance and repair at your local dealership or mechanic shops. Most offer apprentice programs to help you get your foot in the door.

Customer service is vital to any career path and is equally important if you are looking for a career in the Fixed Ops department. Being able to effectively communicate and problem solve are extremely important to thrive in the Fixed Ops department. You’ll often be the bridge between the technicians and the customers which will require you to explain complex issues that arise to the customer in terms that they will understand.

While specific qualifications can vary, certifications from recognized automotive institutions can significantly boost your career prospects. Please visit and start taking a few classes. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Knowledge is power!” Coming into the Fixed Ops department with knowing the basics will help close the learning curve and make you more desirable for hiring managers!

Networking is another key aspect to getting started in the field. There is a whole network of Fixed Ops professionals that are alway there to help you. Start by going to automotive events near you and start a conversation with the fixed ops director. You could always walk into the service department to meet with them to pick their brain and get advice. This will show them that you are serious about working in this field. These connections can provide guidance, advice, and can help refer you to potential opportunities that you can apply for. They will also be there for when you are in the field and need to bounce ideas off of. Because more than likely, they have encountered those issues as well.

Hands-On Learning: Entry-Level Roles as Stepping Stones in Fixed Ops Careers

Now that you have the knowledge and education to get started in Fixed Ops, now it’s time to get your hands dirty. For those starting out, there are quite a few entry-level positions available including service advisor, parts clerk, or junior technician. These positions provide invaluable hands-on experience, observing the operations in the department and understanding the workflow and the efficiencies of the Fixed Ops department.

Now, you do not want to remain in those entry-level positions forever. It is important that you are in a place that has the opportunity to advance your career and offers training to help you with your career path. But advancing will not be handed to you. Like leveling up in a video game, it requires attention and hard work. Make sure that you are constantly updating yourself with the latest industry trends and tech. This could mean going back into the classroom or attending additional training. The automotive industry is ever changing, look at the rise of electric vehicles and digital service platforms. To maintain and fix those vehicles is much different than working on any other vehicle.

You should also be proactive and see out additional responsibilities within your role. Demonstrating your capability to handle more complex tasks can set you up for promotions and more significant roles. Remember, your reputation is crucial. Build a track record of reliability, quality work, and excellent customer service. These traits can make you a go-to person in your department, paving the way for advancement.

Keys to Success: Building a Rewarding Career in Automotive Fixed Ops

Remember, working in a Fixed Ops department is not a cakewalk, but you can build a very successful career that is very fulfilling. Building a successful career in automotive fixed operations requires a combination of technical knowledge, customer service, proficient communication, problem solving skills as well as being proactive with your education and training, will help you move up quickly! Embrace learning opportunities, seek mentorship, and stay adaptable to industry changes.

Remember, your journey in fixed operations can be as diverse and dynamic as the industry itself. With dedication and the right approach, you can navigate a rewarding and successful career path in this essential sector of the automotive world.

If you are considering a career in fixed operations, or are a seasoned vet in the fixed ops department, please share your experiences, challenges, or questions in the comments below. Let’s learn and grow together in this exciting field!