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Learner attending an automotive course

Your Roadmap to Automotive Courses: A Guide for 16-18 Year Olds

Are you wanting to enter the automotive trade?

With an average salary of £30,000, entering the automotive industry can be a stable career choice, with lots of job security and room for growth!

But which course is right for you?

Below we have compiled a list of automotive courses that you can take to help you get onto the right career path.

Which Automotive course is right for you?

  • Level 1: Introduction to Automotive Industries 

During the Level 1 Introduction to Automotive Industries course, learners will gain a foundational understanding of the automotive industry. 

This covers the history of the automotive industry, key players and their roles, vehicle types and classifications, as well as an overview of the manufacturing and assembly processes. 

Entry requirements

No formal entry requirements.

  • Level 1: Introduction to Motor Vehicle

In a Level 1 Introduction to Motor Vehicle course, students explore the basics of motor vehicles, covering systems like engines and brakes. They learn basic maintenance and safety protocols of a motor vehicle and improve their confidence working in the field.

Entry requirements

No formal entry requirements.

  • Level 1: Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

In a Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair course, participants learn essential skills for maintaining and fixing vehicles, covering engine systems, diagnostics, routine maintenance, and troubleshooting. 

The course also includes safety protocols, environmental considerations, and hands-on experience in tasks like tire rotation and wheel alignment. 

Entry requirements

No formal entry requirements.

  • Level 2: T Level Foundation: Vehicle Fitting Principles

The Vehicle Fitting Principles T-Level works as a foundational stepping stone to the  T-Level technical qualification.

This course covers everything you need to know about routine vehicle tasks. It's great for people who want to work on different vehicles in garages, dealerships, or fast-fit businesses. 

You'll learn both theory and practical skills, like inspecting and fixing high-performance tires, doing front-wheel alignment, and working on clutches, exhausts, suspension, batteries, and brakes for light vehicles. 

The course also teaches safe use of oxy-acetylene, handling roadside situations, and gives you a good understanding of workplace safety, meeting customer needs, and other skills useful in a garage.

Entry requirements

No formal entry requirements.

Career pathways

Doing this course can help you become a vehicle fitter, tire technician, brake technician, and more. You can work in garages, dealerships, or fast-fit businesses, specialising in tasks like tire inspection, brake repairs, and front-wheel alignment. 

This course will open doors to more qualifications such as the full T Level, which can help you develop your career.

  • Level 3: Maintenance Installation and Repair (Light and Electrical Vehicles) – T Level 

The Maintenance Installation and Repair T Level qualification focuses on vehicle maintenance and repair, engineering principles, materials, health and safety regulations, and quality assurance. 

Because the course includes a hands-on work experience element, students develop business, commercial, and financial awareness, gaining insights into sector operations and responsibilities like stock and asset management. 

Entry requirements

5 GCSE's grades 9-4 including English & maths.

Career pathways

This course can open doors to many exciting career pathways, including:

  • Auto technician: maintain and repair light and electric vehicles.
  • EV technician: specialise in electric vehicle maintenance.
  • Diagnostics specialist: troubleshoot issues, especially with electrical components.
  • Fleet manager: oversee maintenance for light and electric vehicle fleets.
  • Service manager: manage efficient automotive service departments.
  • Quality inspector: verify vehicle quality through inspections.
  • Charging specialist: install and maintain electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Trainer: train others in light and electric vehicle maintenance.
  • Engineer assistant: assist in designing vehicle components.
  • Tech support: support manufacturers of light and electric vehicles.

  • Level 3: Vehicle Accident Repair

The Vehicle Accident Repair course is developed in collaboration with Tetrosyl. Students will learn all areas of a modern body shop and be taught how to repair a car from start to finish, covering all three key areas of accident repair – body, paint and mechanical, electrical and trim (MET).

Entry requirements

5 GCSE's grades 9-4 including English & maths.

Career pathways

Thinking about doing this course?

Here are some exciting career pathways you can take. 

  • Damage assessor: assess vehicle damage post-accident.
  • Body repair technician: specialise in repairing damaged bodywork.
  • Paint technician: focus on refinishing vehicle paint.
  • Panel beater: repair and reshape damaged panels.
  • Refinisher: ensure overall vehicle appearance post-accident.
  • Estimator: determine repair costs and liaise with insurers.
  • Centre manager: manage accident repair centre operations.
  • Quality inspector: ensure repair quality in the workshop.
  • Customer advisor: communicate with customers about repairs.
  • Workshop supervisor: oversee efficiency in repair operations.


If you’re aged 16-18 years old, you won’t have to pay any course fees or exam costs whilst studying at TMC.

Discover more details on our Fees, Finance & Funding page. 

Why do an automotive mechanic course at TMC?

Enrolling in a car mechanic course at The Manchester College (TMC) offers access to expert tutors with extensive industry connections and experience. 

TMC's campuses in Openshaw and Wythenshawe feature cutting-edge facilities, including MOT testing bays and auto-electrical labs. 

The college's No.1 ranking in Greater Manchester for achievement underscores its commitment to providing a top-notch automotive education. 

If you're passionate about cars, TMC provides industry-relevant training for a successful career. Apply to our Automotive courses today.