Careers in Automotive Manufacturing

Do you want a solid career, but aren’t convinced that the traditional four-year college degree is the right fit for you? Do you have an interest in mechanics and robotics? We know someone you need to hear from! 


Do you want a solid career, but aren’t convinced that the traditional four-year college degree is the right fit for you? Do you have an interest in mechanics and robotics? We know someone you need to hear from! 

Edgar Hernandez always knew that he didn’t really have any interest in the traditional college path, and he didn’t like the idea of working in an office every day. He wanted to work with his hands and fix things that interested him. One day he mentioned his interest in being a mechanic to a civil engineering teacher, and that planted the seed that eventually grew into his current career.  

“I am a multi-skilled maintenance technician at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Huntsville,” Edgar explains. “My responsibilities include, but are not limited to, machine repairs, fault recovery, and robotics. It also requires reading and understanding PLC’s (programmable logic controllers) and ladder logic (a programming language).” Edgar says his favorite part about his job is “being able to work with my hands and fix anything that may be broken or not operating properly.”  

Edgar is proof that not everyone has to follow the same path to find success. “The opportunity is out there you just have to look for it and not settle for something you do not enjoy,” he says. “My advice is to not believe people out there who claim you have to wear a suit and tie every day to be successful in life, or that you must have a 4-year degree to make money. It’s a lie! Try to find a skilled trade. The AMT program is a great example of how to create a successful future.” 

When asked more about the program that helped him find his path, Edgar shares, “I graduated from Calhoun Community College with an associate degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology. I was enrolled in the AMT program where I worked 3 days per week and attended school the other two.” This program is the secret to Edgar’s success. “The education part of the AMT program is crucial because everything flows together. What you learn in class is exactly what you do at work. It also gives you the job training that helps a lot when looking a job for your career,” he explains.   

When asked about the biggest misconception about his line of work, Edgar said, “Probably that being a maintenance technician is a very dangerous job. While working around moving parts or around live electricity may sound dangerous, you are extremely safe, especially when you are provided with the proper training and PPE (personal protective equipment) at work and at school.”  

Edgar has big aspirations to further his career at Toyota. “I hope to be a group leader at TMMAL, own my own house, and have a happy family!” he says, and we have no doubt that he will!  


With the increase in automotive manufacturing jobs across the state in recent years, the Alabama Community College System has kept up with demand and added automotive manufacturing associate degree programs, apprenticeships and certification courses at colleges across the state to help students prepare for these in-demand careers.  

From mechatronics to advanced manufacturing to engineering technology, programs are available at every community college in the state. Learn more by contacting your local community college. 

  •  Bevill State Community College – Jasper 
  • Bishop State Community College – Mobile 
  • Calhoun Community College – Decatur 
  • Central Alabama Community College – Alexander City 
  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College – Phenix City 
  • Coastal Alabama Community College – Bay Minette 
  • Enterprise State Community College – Enterprise 
  • Gadsden State Community College – Gadsden 
  • Jefferson State Community College – Birmingham 
  • J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College – Huntsville 
  • Lawson State Community College – Birmingham 
  • Lurleen B. Wallace Community College – Andalusia 
  • Northeast Alabama Community College – Rainsville 
  • Northwest-Shoals Community College – Muscle Shoals  
  • Reid State Technical College – Evergreen 
  • Shelton State Community College – Tuscaloosa 
  • Snead State Community College – Boaz 
  • Southern Union State Community College – Wadley 
  • Trenholm State Community College – Montgomery 
  • Wallace Community College – Dothan 
  • Wallace Community College – Selma 
  • Wallace State Community College – Hanceville 

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