Car dealerships require a number of different job roles to operate properly. However, without a finance manager – who is responsible for securing every car deal – none of those vehicles will ever move off the lot. Aside from attending auto finance school, there are a few key steps you need to take afterward to begin on this career path.
Consider Attending Auto Finance School
You don’t actually need to attend auto finance school to eventually become a dealership’s finance manager. Some people reach this position after years of working as a salesperson.
You can begin that position with nothing more than a high school diploma. Now, that said, attending auto finance school – like the very popular Automotive Training Concepts – is the best way to fast-track your path to earning this position.
Again, some people become finance managers without these credentials, but it’s getting a lot tougher as they are becoming more and more common.
Get Experience Selling Cars
As we mentioned a moment ago, you can sell vehicles with only a high school diploma. Once again, though, you’ll probably need something extra on your resume.
Ideally, a background in sales. Most dealerships aren’t going to hire someone to sell as big a commitment as cars if they haven’t already had success with “smaller” purchases. Simply learning to sell vehicles won’t be enough, though.
You want to pay special attention to the financial components. This is something that’s covered in-depth at auto finance school, but having this real-world experience is extremely valuable, too. Someday, you’ll be in charge of this vital element of the sales process.
Work in Management
The next level of experience you need is working in management. You’ll have to know how to manage more than just numbers to succeed in this role. You’ll most likely work as a sales manager, which will give you even more experience in this important sector.
Learn Your Local Laws
Finally, before you should begin applying to become a finance manager at a car dealership, be sure you know everything about the laws that apply to the sales and financing of vehicles in your area.
There are state and federal laws that dictate both, but you may also have local laws to consider, too. Once you land your job, a big part of it will be keeping up-to-date on these laws so your dealership doesn’t make any costly mistakes.
While an impressive sales record and some kind of formal education will go a long way toward helping your resume stand out, don’t underestimate this last requirement. You can expect questions about these laws during your interview.
The Path to Becoming a Car Dealership’s Finance Manager
As you can see, you definitely have to put some work into becoming a dealership’s finance manager. The good news is that, unlike many career paths, this one is lined with opportunity.
From selling vehicles to working in management, you’ll always have a paycheck (no internships necessary) and will constantly gain valuable experience that you could leverage in a number of different fields.