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Turning Valor Into Valuable Trade: Auto Entrepreneurship for Veterans

Building your own business up from the ground is a labor of love, a generator of great pride, and a good payday. According to US News, the average business manager will earn $76,000 per year, a hefty chunk above the median. As a veteran, applying the skills you’ve developed to having your own patch is a great way to continue your own development and build a career on shore. One of the best industries for veterans to get into? Automobiles.

Not every soldier is a mechanic, but the manual skills, strength and on-the-spot thinking active service entails are of great use in the shop. Getting a business up and running requires a little investment. But, as stories of success show, an automobile customization joint is a great way to use your entrepreneurship abilities, create a unique business legacy for you, and to pay the bills.

What do you need to get going?

The first thing to note is that, according to industry veteran Ryan Friedlinghaus, the car customization industry needs a boost. There are plenty of opportunities in the trade, and any well-run operation is likely to gather a lot of publicity. Starting the business requires a little bit of planning. You will need to invest in premises, materials and good quality equipment. Materials can be brought in as and when is required for different jobs, but as a baseline, you need good paint applicators and colors of paint.

You’ll also need certain skills to complete jobs. The Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme offered by the VA can help to provide the skills you need; for a custom car shop, this will fall into two main areas. Firstly, painting - many basic car customization jobs require a high level of competency with the paint gun. This is so you can apply deft touches across the body. A well practiced car painter will be able to create a memorable project with those skills alone. Second, you'll need skills related to the panel beating responsibility of an auto mechanic. This will enable you to perform bodywork.

What sort of success can you achieve?

While the custom car industry has faded slightly in the USA, there’s no question that it’s booming around the world. Japan welcomed 300,000 custom car enthusiasts to a 2018 expo which showed off contributions from around the world and from some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. Creating your business around extravagant mods can help to flex your creative muscle and create a name for yourself.

Alternatively, the beauty of a custom car company is that you can cater to any requirements. Certain cities in the USA have a great heritage of classic cars; New Orleans springs to mind, as does LA. Developing a custom car company enables you to work on old cars, bring them up to speed and beautify them. Or, you could find yourself retrograding modern vehicles into unique builds. The world is essentially your oyster, and creating these cars will net you a great salary in addition to leaving your mark on the industry.

Working with vehicles is something many veterans will be familiar with. Even if that’s not the case, the skills required to flourish in the armed services will serve you well in the scope of vehicular work. Custom cars is a great way to make money, develop your own creative skills and establish a business to last the years.

Visit our job board regularly to find companies offering jobs for veterans, and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.     

By Lucy Wyndham