I have a question for you guys with experience in the automotive industry. I want to apply for a job at a dealership, most people start off as a porter moving cars around. This is okay by me, what are your thoughts on this?
I'm also considering taking a course at a local community college for service advisers, it's a job I've been really considering lately as well. Seems real nice, as I have a good background in mechanical knowledge (enough to work efficiently) and good people skills/customer service experience for the last year and a half.
Something else is an auto auction driver. The local Manheim is probably hiring. They don't pay jack crap but the benefits are pretty good, they're typically easy to work with, and it's a fun job. Typically transporters can be dealer or wholesaler, and pay better than auction work, but are harder to get and typically looking for older guys and people with prior experience. A parts store driver is another option though be ready to sell parts at times too and I also think it's real low paying but it's easier to get into than a transporter job.
I also agree dealers are looking for younger, tech/social media savvy people. I got scouted for this position by a sales person at a local dealer, applied, but got passed over as I have no sales experience. Wound up being a blessing as I worked a job I LOVED at a camera store that summer with people I enjoyed though.
I do feel in both roles being younger has a credibility issue so make sure you dress nice and present well. Talking formally and carefully is the big one too. The guy I bought my Camry from was my age but came across professionally and that is probably why he had the job. Like it or not people are hesitant to trust cars to a 23 year old, but if you have a great personality and conduct yourself well (I suspect you'd have no problem with this) you'll get the sales, this is why my friend does really well selling phones.
As for a community college, my advice is if you go for something with a wide value, that will transfer credits, and can be put towards a bachelor's or masters. A few courses on something for a service writer is fine of course but that's about all you can do with it and most of those career courses won't transfer. Any kind of engineering or engineering tech is great for this, but do research on the difference; too great to go into here, but tech generally is more hands on, engineering is more theory and both work at different parts of a product design process, though there is a lot of overlap. At least take some courses, it'll have a lot more long run value if you want to change careers down the road, but if you do go for 4 years (bank on it taking 5) and do what you can at a CC (2-3 years) to save money. FWIW I went MET, hands on problem solving is my thing.