20 Tips on How to Open keystone Automotive Industries

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keystone automotive industries

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keystone automotive industries

1. Get the Background

Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc is the largest wholesale distributor and marketer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the world.

They offer customers the distinct advantage of ordering.

And receiving their specialty parts from the industry’s largest in-stock inventory via the most reliable route-based fulfilment network.

Keystone’s product mix features 185,000+ unique stocking SKU’s available from over 800+ suppliers.

Keystone employs over 300 Sales and Customer Service professionals.

Who are trained and equipped to help their customers develop and grow their business.

This ongoing commitment to improve the customer’s experience when doing business with Keystone differentiates them from the competition.

keystone automotive industries

Their  marketing programs are designed to target wholesale and retail “traffic-building” opportunities.

They offer an array of marketing media options.

Including print and digital formats.

In addition, Keystone is committed to developing a strong e-Commerce presence.

With various solutions to help our customers grow their online business.

Their goal is simple – to provide our customers with the products, tools, and services.

To effectively compete in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

The Company provides new and recycled automotive parts such as bumpers, allow wheels, body panels, lighting components, and mirrors.

Keystone Automotive serves auto body shops and dealerships in the United States and Canada.

2. Get the stages

Engineering is the study of structure and design.

Automotive engineers apply that study to developing and manufacturing cars, trucks and cargo vehicles.

The field includes separate specialties, each of which requires its own specialized education and career path.

Far from being another step on the track of building or repairing autos.

Automotive engineering can be a lucrative career choice that requires advanced education and training.

3. Learn about the career path.

Before you begin the path to becoming an automotive engineer.

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the required career path.

Being an automotive engineer is a difficult job.

But it can be fulfilling and tends to pay fairly high.

  • Automotive engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on cars.
  • As an automotive engineer, you’ll work on designing, building, and testing a variety of features involved in an automobile. It can be exciting work as you’re always thinking of innovative ways to make cars run more efficiently.

    keystone automotive industries


  • Growth-wise, the demand for automotive engineers is growing by about 7% each year. If you have solid training and experience, you should be able to land a stable job. The average starting salary is roughly between $50,000 and $60,000 a year and rises as you gain experience. After 5 to 9 years of experience, automotive engineers make between $54,000 and $76,000 a year.
  • If you’re interested in cars and designs, and have a creative side and an interest in the technical aspects of automobiles, this could potentially be a good career path for you.

keystone automotive industries

4. Gain experience in high school.

You can start off your path towards becoming an automotive engineer in high school.

Studying hard, taking the right courses, and seeking experience can all help with your career goals down the line.

  • Math courses are important if you want to be an automotive engineer.
  • Try to build a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. When it comes to science, focus on chemistry and physics. Opt for AP coursework when possible.
  • You will need effective communication skills as well.
  • Try to do well in language arts and English classes.
  • While you do not necessarily need to stock up on lots of English and art electives, taking the required coursework seriously can help.
  • If you’re able to take a course at a local college your junior or senior year, take the opportunity. Having some college credit before beginning your undergraduate education will look great on a college application.
  • Try to look for relevant experience in high school as well. Work over the summers with local mechanics so you can learn the basics of car structure and repair. Look for engineering internships geared at high school students. Get involved in extracurricular activities relevant to science, math, technology, and mechanics.

5. Do well on standardized tests.

Your ACT and SAT scores matter when it comes to getting into a good school.

Work on scoring high overall, but especially in areas related to math and science.

  • Buy an SAT/ACT prep book and spend a few hours each night studying it leading up to the exam.
  • Take many practice tests and review the test format so you go in prepared.
  • Consider asking your parents about enrolling you in a prep course.
  • Local colleges may offer prep courses. You can also take standardized test prep courses online through programs like Kaplan.

6. Work on a solid college application.

As you approach senior year, you need to start thinking about your college application.

Work hard on your application to increase your likelihood of getting into a good school.

  • If you need letters or recommendation, get them from teachers who taught you in relevant fields.
  • While you may have hit it off with your band instructor.
  • It’s probably a better idea to ask your physics teacher for a letter of rec if you’re applying for an engineering program.
  • Spend time on the application essay. Write a couple of drafts and have a parent, friend, or teacher look it over and give you feedback.
  • Make sure you include all your extracurricular.
  • Even seemingly unrelated experience looks good on a college resume as it reflects hard work.
  • Dedication, and a vested interest in your community.

7. Choose a relative undergraduate degree.

When you begin your education, you will need to select a relevant undergraduate degree.

There are many different fields of study that can prepare you for a career in automotive engineering.

  • You should only select colleges or universities recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. You can find a list of accredited programs by browsing the ABET website and clicking on the tab “Find an ABET-Accredited Program.”
  • The reputation of your undergraduate college matters, so look for schools that are highly ranked in the engineering field.

    keystone automotive industries

  • You can select from a variety of majors if you want to be an automotive engineer.
  • Your major should be one of the following, although it’s not a bad idea to considering double majoring or taking on a few minors: automobile dynamics, automobile electronics, engine parts, diesel engine theory, alternative energy sources, fuel cell systems, and powertrain dynamics.
  • Your undergraduate education will typically take four years to complete. You will usually spend your senior year working a design project. This is more or less your senior thesis. You will work alone or with other students designing a car part or feature. Work hard on your senior project as it can be used to help you apply to graduate school or to find jobs.

8. Seek out hands-on experience in college.

Employers hire engineers with a variety of experience.

To make yourself marketable after college, always be on the lookout for experience.

Intern over the summers with automotive engineering companies.

Take on jobs where you work with cars.

Get involved in clubs, fraternities, and other extracurricular related to science, engineering, physics, and math.

9. Keep your grades up.

In many career paths, your overall GPA is the last thing employers care about when searching for prospective job candidates.

However, in the engineering field high grades matter.

A solid GPA can help you find a job. Study hard and try to maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher.

Form study groups with friends, attend any review sessions a professor conducts.

Get a good night sleep before exams, and review material immediately after class.

10. Consider a graduate degree.

You can be an automotive engineer with a bachelor’s degree alone.

However, you may look more employable if you pursue your master’s.

After receiving your undergraduate degree, consider whether a master’s program is right for you.

  • If you want specialized automotive engineering knowledge, a master’s degree can help.
  • If you felt particularly interested in a branch of study as an undergrad.
  • Consider pursuing that field further by going for your master’s.
  • Usually, you will take a variety of coursework and then complete a final project. A master’s program can be a great place to make connections in the professional world. It can also increase your likelihood of employment and might secure you a higher paying job.  Engineering companies are frequently looking for employees with specialized knowledge in dynamics, control, materials, and other fields of study.

keystone automotive industries

11. Learn your state’s requirements.

Every state is different in regards to becoming a certified automotive engineer.

Spend time considering where you want to work and look into that state’s requirements in terms of licensing and certification.

12. Work under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer.

In most states, you will have to work under the supervision of a licenses professional engineer for a number of years before you can enter an engineer-in-training program and take the Professional Engineer exam.

As you reach your final year of college or graduate school, look for apprenticeship opportunities.

Talk to professors, colleagues, and connections from past jobs and internships.

The number of years you spend working under supervision varies based on state and your level of education.

keystone automotive industries

13. Complete an Engineer-In-Training Program.

An Engineer-In-Training program is a one or two year program in which you work on the skills required to become a professional, licensed engineer.

Find a good training program, one that fits your needs and career goals.

  • Training program vary by specialization, so look for a program catered to your professional goals.
  • Program lengths vary from one to two years.
  • The application process varies by program. You can take an Engineer-In-Training program online.
  • The advantage to this is that such programs are cheaper and shorter and you’ll be able to work while completing training. However, most employers value a lot of hands-on experience for the job. It might be better to find a program you can attend in person.

14.Pass the Professional Engineers exam.

The Professional Engineers exam tests your ability to perform competently in a specific engineering field.

Once you pass the Professional Engineers exam, you will be a certified automotive engineer.

  • Spend a few months studying before taking the exam.
  • You can take practice exams and prep courses online.
  • You should also network with people in your training program. Work together to study and prepare in groups.
  • You sign up to take the exam online. Most states have testing centers, but you may have to travel some if there if there is not a center close to you.
  • The PE exam is long. It lasts 8 hours and is split into a morning and afternoon session. Depending on your specialization, the exam will either be electronic or by pen and paper. You need to bring a form of ID to the testing center and cannot bring personal electronic devices, like cell phones, into the testing center.
  • When you receive your score depends on the testing center as well as the type of exam.

keystone automotive industries

15. Understand the protocol if you do not pass the exam.

If you do not pass the exam initially, you may retake it.

There may be a fee to retake the exam, depending on your specialization and testing site.

16. Use your design project to market yourself.

The project you created in college or graduate school can be a powerful marketing tool.

Submit the project to competitions. Send protocols to engineering companies.

Create a personal website and include a section detailing your project.

If you created something innovative with market value, this can help you land a job.

17. Write a solid resume.

As you begin searching for engineering jobs, spend time working on your resume.

A good resume is an important tool for any field.

  • Employees in engineering value your education and work experience.
  • Include all relevant experience, training, and coursework as well any certifications you possess.
  • Mention your GPA, from both your undergrad and master’s programs, as well as any honor societies you were a part of.
  • Creativity and innovation are both important in the field of automotive engineering.
  • Therefore, do not be afraid to get creative with your resume.
  • Choose a unique design. If you’re looking for inspiration, do a Google search for “creative resume designs” and browse a few websites for ideas.
  • Make sure to phrase your experience in as impressive terms as possible. For example, when talking about a college internship don’t say “Helped other interns suggest design ideas for a car’s heating system.” Instead say, “Contributed to the development of an innovative, efficient heating system by brainstorming designs with a team of fellow engineers.

18. Practice good interview skills.

If you get called into an interview, make sure you know good interview skills.

Spend some time reviewing how to ace a job interview as you begin looking for positions.

  • Always dress up for a job interview. For men, a suit and tie or a nice button down shirt with dress pants is always a good call. For women, a nice dress, pant suit, or professional blouse along with work pants can help. Wear work appropriate shoes, make-up, and other accessories.
  • Use positive body language. Sit up straight, smile and nod to show the interviewer you’re listening, and give a firm handshake.
  • Always research the company the night before an interview.
  • Knowing a bit about a company’s ethics and philosophy can make you look interested and informed.
  • At the end of the interview, ask questions. Make sure they’re open-ended and show you have a vested interest in the job. Something like, “What do you enjoy about working here?” and “What’s the overall company philosophy?” are great questions to impress an interviewer.

keystone automotive industries

19. Stay optimistic.

It can be difficult to break out into any career, but engineering career paths are particularly competitive.

You may have to send out hundreds of resumes before you hear back.

Stay optimistic and keep applying. Eventually, something will turn up.

20. More tips

  • The Automotive Industry is always changing and adapting to new technologies.
  • Consider joining–or at least subscribing to the newsletter of–the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • If you keep track of what’s going on in your industry.
  • You will have more context for the information in your classes and will be better able to answer interview questions.
  • Some of the better programs for automotive engineering careers are at Ferris State University, Arizona State University, Clemson ICAR and the University of Michigan.

keystone automotive industries


Keystone is always interested in helping new or existing businesses compete in the aftermarket industry.

Each new customer application is carefully evaluated to ensure that we compliment the needs of your business.

If you are interested in becoming a new customer, please choose the appropriate form United States, Canadian, International and complete the application.

We will process your request and contact you for any additional information needed.

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