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Automotive Partsperson


Description

An automobile is composed of hundreds of different parts from spark plugs to the transmission to the dipstick; all of these parts are necessary to maintain a safe and operational vehicle. It seems almost impossible to keep track of all of these details yet that is precisely what an automotive partsperson or (parts clerk) does.

They are responsible for the ordering, stocking, proper storage and selling of auto parts. Ordering and maintaining stock of these parts requires the use of manual or computerized inventory systems. Automotive parts clerks must maintain a working knowledge of automotive parts so they may properly advise retail customers or shop workers on the appropriate parts, supplies or materials requested. This means parts clerks must also have good communication skills and be able to effectively interact with the public.
 
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  Interests and Skills  
Automotive parts clerks are interested in motorized vehicles and their maintenance. They are organized and able to competently use both a computerized system and manual records to conduct inventory and process orders as needed. Auto parks clerks are able to communicate well with customers regarding the need for and cost of parts required.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Receive and sort incoming parts and supplies
  • Store items in an orderly and accessible fashion
  • Process incoming requisitions and issue or distribute parts and supplies for internal usage
  • Prepare requisition orders to replenish parts and supplies
  • Maintain records of orders and the amount, kind and location of parts and supplies on hand using manual or computerized inventory system
  • Sell spare and replacement parts for motor vehicles, machinery and equipment in a retail setting
  • Advise retail customers on appropriateness of parts, supplies or materials requested.
  • On a typical day an automotive parts clerk will assess inventory and order parts if needed. They may spend the day working alone doing paperwork and stocking parts or they may interact with customers regarding the parts needed for their vehicles. Parts clerks may spend the day in a busy garage with lots of noise and smells or they may be employed by larger warehouses and work within a warehouse setting rather than an active garage.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • They are employed by manufacturing companies, warehouses, retail and wholesale establishments, mining, forestry and construction companies, repair shops, hospitals and other establishments, and the armed forces.

  Long Term Career Potential  
With experience and additional education automotive parts clerks may have the ability to move into supervisory positions in warehouses or repair shops. Opportunities for advancement are also open to those workers who are able to use computerized inventory and ordering systems.
 

  Educational Paths  
A secondary school diploma is required to become an automotive parts clerk. Upon completion of a high school diploma, a one-year college program for parts clerks is generally required. Sometimes experience in a related clerical occupation or as a warehouse worker may also be required.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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