How to Get a High Paying F&I or Management Career in Automotive With Online Training

How to Get a High Paying F&I or Management Career in Automotive With Online Training

General Manager of Galpin Ford, Mike Schwartz, shows off his CAM diplomaFinance and insurance (F&I) management is one of the highest paying careers in retail automotive car dealerships and automotive dealer institutes.

According to studies from the National Automobile Dealers Associations (NADA) and College of Automotive Management’s Finance Manager Certification program, a dealer finance manager earns more than automotive sales manager.

Automotive News, an industry-leading publication, confirms the report that dealership finance managers earn more than sales managers in new car dealerships. The report cites an average income of $142,048 nationally in 2017, which showed an increase compared to the averages in 2016.

Sales managers at automotive dealerships earn an average annual salary of $134,625 according to the same report while service managers earn $121,908 per year on average. The only car dealership management position that pays more than an F&I manager pay plan is the general manager (GM), which is basically the highest paying management position in a car dealership.

On average, GMs earned $328,150 annually in 2017 per the same NADA workforce study. General managers, like Mike Schwartz of Galpin Ford, the nation’s #1 Ford Dealer for the past 29 years, agree that formal college-level F&I and sales management training provided by the College of Automotive Management can help individuals succeed in these high-paying automotive finance jobs.

Even automotive sales consultants in high-volume dealerships earn an average annual income of $70,186. This makes retail automotive dealership careers such as a finance manager for a car dealership some of the highest-paying sales and management positions in the national economy.

If you want to learn how much do finance managers at car dealerships make or how to become a finance manager at a car dealership, contact us today.

Becoming a successful Finance and Insurance (F&I) Manager, Sales Manager, Service Manager (Advisor), or General Manager at a Car Dealership With or Without Prior Experience

Unlike most F&I or Automotive Sales training programs, the college-level vocational career training certifications offered by the College of Automotive Management focus on training that is designed specifically for successful achievement in high paying automotive industry careers. Such careers would include (but not limited to) Finance (F&I) Manager trainingSales Manager Training, and training for Service Managers, also known as Service Advisor training. Graduates who have had this level of formal training typically go on to enjoy very lucrative and fulfilling careers in automotive.

General Managers typically know the inner workings and details of all three management positions, qualifying them to be in a position to manage the entire dealership.  The National Automobile Dealers Association also offers General Management education and training.

Automotive management careers are generally obtained by advancing through the ranks. Most start as a salesperson and then advance to Sales Manager or F&I Manager after success in sales.  Successful Sales and F&I managers may then be promoted to General Manager within an automotive dealership company that promotes from within.  For most, this career path into automotive management may take a few years.  In some cases, the General Manager position is groomed from the Parts and Service side of the dealership after success in a Service Management position.

blog9Kevin Kim, a graduate of the College of Automotive Management’s automotive career programs, became the platform General Manager of two profitable, high volume Mazda dealerships –  Mazda of Puente Hills and South Bay Mazda – at the same time.  After completing his F&I and Sales Management Certifications through the College of Automotive Management with no prior automotive experience, Kevin was hired as a loan rep for an automotive finance company with the help of CAM’s career placement assistance.

“Attending the College of Automotive Management opened up the automotive industry to me,” said Kevin.  “I was immediately hired as a loan rep for an automotive finance company due to my knowledge of loan underwriting and F&I Management as evidenced by my certification at the College.  I then went into retail and managed several auto dealerships as a General Sales Manager.  I prefer to hire College of Automotive Management trained candidates whenever given the opportunity.”

Given that the most common career advancement path in automotive is to come up through the ranks, it might seem farfetched that it’s possible to obtain a high paying position as a Sales or F&I Manager at a car dealership without any prior automotive experience. But for those who set their sights on fast-tracking their careers in this way, this is entirely possible. In fact, it can be done in a matter of weeks with formal F&I and Sales Management Certification training coupled with the kind of career placement assistance offered by the College of Automotive Management.
Check out the stories from these CAM graduates:

F&I Manager Tammy Vu Image

Tammy Vu graduated from the College of Automotive Management’s online F&I training program in 2016. She had never worked in automotive but had wanted to change careers for many years before she finally decided to get the education she needed to make it happen. Shortly after enrolling in CAM’s online classes and well before she graduated, Tammy was hired at a Land Rover Audi dealership in Los Angeles, California.

Even without prior automotive experience, the F&I training she received was so comprehensive that it fully prepared her to excel in her new position. It’s clear that in her case and the cases of many others, formal college-level training is an essential part of the success equation for anyone seeking a position as a Finance Manager, Sales Manager, or Service Manager/Service Advisor.

You can read more about Tammy’s story HERE.

Attending CAM’s online F&I and Sales Manager courses is the surest way to become the next candidate to promote from within


Derek Spady graduated from the College of Automotive Management’s online Professional Sales, F&I, and Sales Management training program at age 23. Just 10 weeks after starting CAM’s online classes as a salesperson, Derek’s income increased from $4,500/month to $11,000/month and he became the top car salesman at his dealership. Shortly thereafter, Derek was promoted to F&I where he reported an annual income of $244,316 at Earnhardt Cadillac in Scottsdale Arizona. His reported income following his training at CAM was nearly $100,000 per year more than the national average – an excellent return on his investment!

Derek reported that his decision to obtain College level F&I training changed his life and made it possible to be the top producing F&I Manager/Director in his dealer group within just 90 days. This is a remarkable accomplishment since his dealership group employed more than 25 Finance Managers across several dealerships!

In today’s digital world, college-level online finance and insurance (F&I) manager training, online sales manager training, and online service advisor training programs are more affordable than ever. In fact, they are significantly more affordable than other vocational programs for careers that pay much less, making them more accessible to individuals who need a flexible, affordable and self-paced approach to getting the certifications they need.

Quality Career placement assistance is essential for F&I and Sales Management Candidates with little to no experience

Another important factor for anyone researching F&I training options is to consider CAM’s network of industry relationships with potential employers. The College of Automotive Management is the longest standing F&I and Sales Management career training school in the country, providing an unparalleled opportunity to establish long term relationships with industry employers for the benefit of their graduates.

Career placement assistance is more valuable when there is inside knowledge about positions not advertised to the public between trusted relationships in the industry.

To learn more about how to have a successful career in the automotive world, click here.

What is the Current Demand for High Paying Automotive F&I Manager and Sales Manager Careers?

As of December 2020, and January 2021, there are more than one thousand F&I manager and sales manager positions posted in the public domain on websites like, and

With more than 40,000 new and used car dealerships throughout the United States, the high demand and shortage of qualified, College-level vocationally trained applicants for these positions is an industry problem that won’t be solved soon.

Many F&I manager positions are never advertised and are filled by a referral from an industry relationship trusted by the dealership.

Having industry relationships with influential automotive companies that can give you a positive recommendation based on your College-level vocational training certification or past performance often puts candidates at the front of the line, compared to those applying by resume through an online job ad.

Who you know is often as important, or sometimes even more important, than what you know when it comes to obtaining a high paying F&I manager or sales manager career position with or without prior experience at a car dealership.

To learn more about the current demand for F&I and Sales  Manager careers, click here.

How to choose the right online F&I or Sales Manager Certification College

Online reviews and ratings from other students and the employers that hire them are an obvious starting place when doing research to choose the best and highest-rated automotive F&I and Sales Management career training programs.

The purpose of attending automotive career training for most people is to obtain a higher paying F&I or sales manager career or to significantly increase their income in a current F&I or sales manager position.

Image of Top Finance Manager at Galpin Ford increasing his income after Taking CAM's Finance Manager TrainingAdrian B. was a top-producing F&I Manager with Galpin Ford, the #1 Ford Dealership in the world. He had attended a number of F&I training programs before deciding to complete the Finance Manager Certification program offered by the College of Automotive Management. Adrian was thrilled with the unique skills he acquired in CAM’s program, and became living proof of it’s efficacy as he increased his PVR by $400-$500 per copy as a direct result of what he learned! Adrian had this to say:

“Thanks to the College’s Finance Program I have increased my PVR by far, and I’m so excited to say that my income has increased by at least 30%! This course by far is one of the best if not the best I’ve taken. Every single chapter has different ways to better yourself and to fully understand objections, and also to advise our customers how to protect their investments. If I had to give a ballpark I would say I’ve increased my PVR by $400-$500 per copy, and at times, more. I’m super excited. A big thank you to everyone’s contribution!!”

“Choosing an F&I manager or sales manager College level program that is provided by an established institution with a positive reputation and a vast network of relationships with potential employers is perhaps the greatest factor to consider,” says Eric Andersen, President of MorningStar Dealer Services. MorningStar Dealer Services is an automotive consulting company that has done business with thousands of dealerships nationwide, and is an employer that prefers and promotes College of Automotive Management graduates.

It often takes many years for an online F&I training school to become the trusted source for well-trained candidates that employers call first for their next F&I manager or sales manager position opening.

High-quality career placement assistance should be a priority of any vocational program, not an afterthought or unwanted expense.

Resume assistance and pointing graduates to online ads in their area as offered by some newer companies providing F&I classes is a bare minimum career assistance offering.

Ongoing support during and after the Initial Online F&I and/or Sales Manager Training  

Having a personal career coach invested in your success who knows your individual career goals, and being part of a network of other successful professionals in the F&I or sales management career you want to pursue can help you stay on track, follow-through, and ensure success in reaching F&I management and sales management career and income goals.

F&I and sales manager college-level training programs that provide personal coaching and networking after the initial training period have higher success rates when it comes to students obtaining high paying automotive management career positions.

Choose training that is legally compliant and that places a heavy emphasis on ethics

College-level F&I and Sales Manager training programs that achieve the most success will be built upon legally compliant and ethical methods that increase profits, improve online reputations, and promote repeat and referral business at a dealership.

Profit per deal should, by no means, be the number one focus or a primary emphasis of F&I or Sales Management career training as the method by which to achieve the most profitable results.

Customers who are 100% happy and satisfied and who clearly understand every aspect of their purchase should be the goal. These customers ultimately purchase more often and with more products and services from the dealership than those who do not feel they were handled fairly or with transparent honesty.

F&I and Sales Managers who learn all legal compliant issues that govern their position and who work ethically become the trusted leaders by their employers are promoted faster and more often, and enjoy their work more than those that are taught and use unethical methods.

A college-level F&I and Sales Management curriculum that teaches the entire job description

There is no shortage of programs available that will teach students the basics of how to sell and overcome objections, but that’s not what sets people up for the greatest level of success in automotive. A complete career curriculum, including best in class processes for F&I department administration and sales team management, is critical and necessary.  This is especially true for students with little to no prior experience because it can help them overcome common objections when applying for their first F&I or Sales Management position.

Overcoming objections in the interview regarding lack of prior F&I management or Sales management experience can be achieved with the ability to express a high level and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the sales, desking, and F&I processes at a dealership.

Typically, that in-depth knowledge is only obtained by working in those positions within a dealership for years.

With a college level F&I and sales management training program using real-life examples and simulations, actual current dealership F&I and desking software, real forms, and best in class processes used by top-performing dealerships, graduates of the College of Automotive Management are often more skilled than other candidates who have many more years of on-the-job experience.

Graduates of the College of Automotive Management are given interview training after they complete their training courses, to learn how to express that knowledge quickly and succinctly in an interview. This helps set them apart and makes them a standout candidate in the minds of the employer.

When interviewing for a high paying F&I or Sales Management position without prior management experience, candidates often have a number of objections to overcome. They may hear objections such as: “We are looking for someone with more management experience,” or “We require two or more years of successful F&I or Sales Management experience,” or “We require everyone to begin in our sales department first and show success, and then we only promote from within.” In these cases, comprehensive knowledge, understanding and practical skills are essential. 

The College of Automotive Management offers this kind of in-depth online F&I and Sales Manager training course content, skill development, and knowledge base to all students.  The College also encourages potential employers to pay for or reimburse self-paying graduates that become successful managers in their company as an incentive to attract high demand College of Automotive Management graduates.

To learn more about college-level online F&I manager and sales manager training courses offered in your area, click here.

Employers prefer college-level trained candidates that have invested in their own career for key leadership, F&I and Sales management positions

Leadership expresses itself in various forms and one of the greatest standout qualities of a company’s next leader is the desire to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. A discerning individual will seek out and select in-depth, college-level training focused on the employer’s business, not just any program that promises a certification.

Owners of any organization can not help but take notice and appreciate anyone in their organization willing to invest in themselves to help themselves, the organization and the owner be more profitable and successful.  

Therefore, it is self-evident why dealership owners and other automotive companies prefer interviewing and hiring qualified College of Automotive Management candidates for their next leadership position whenever possible.

As a result, employers will often offer F&I or Sales manager training tuition reimbursement for a college-level automotive management training program completed by a valuable employee.

Image of Joe Allis, GM of Galpin Ford, who raved about CAMS's Certification programs

Joe Allis is a 25-year automotive management veteran, and the General Manager of  Santa Clarita Porsche, which is part of the Galpin Motors family of dealerships. He took the time to complete all eight online courses offered by the College of Automotive Management to see how the skills and processes could help his staff become even more successful.

“The College’s Proprietary F&I Sales Process is excellent. Excellent is the only description I can be honest in stating,” said Joe. “I have experienced other “boot camp” style training where ALL of the emphasis is on profit, deception, intimidation, and selling. Never about the mutuality of what we do.  The 9-step approach to an incredibly sensitive business is logical and reasonable. I’ve never seen any method so well thought out, so as to ease not only the client but the dealer representative!”  

Joe was no stranger to F&I and Sales training, as he had participated in many different programs in the past. But what he learned in CAM’s courses blew him away! “I’m a veteran of this very tough business,” he said. “My original thought was, ‘what can I possibly learn? I know everything there is to know!’”

But as it turned out, even this seasoned professional at the top of his game got incredible profit and CSI-boosting benefits from the courses.

As an eternal skeptic of everything, even I have made more deals, shortened my negotiations process, and created wonderful relationships with clients. I have actually gone back to individual lessons, printed them out, and used them to train my team. This is a priceless collection of lessons for the businessman, the parent, and the game-changer.  I have already made so many changes to my own personal management technique. While I am an advocate of so many of the principles and doctrines of this course already, the details of real leadership have been re-defined in my mind.”

Joe was proud to share his newfound knowledge from CAM with his team to increase profits and CSI. Now, he seeks to hire CAM-trained employees, knowing that the skills they have make them a cut above the rest.

To read more about why Joe Allis believes every employee, new and seasoned, should take CAM courses, click HERE.

Jeremy HagenImage of Jeremy Hagen. He doubled his income within just 60 days and was hired as a sales manager for a Lamborghini dealership in Newport Beach, CA was a seasoned internet manager for a highline dealership when he enrolled in the College of Automotive Management.  Within 60 days of starting his training, Jeremy’s income more than doubled and he became #1!

But this wasn’t the reason he enrolled in the College of Automotive Management.  Jeremy had his sights set higher, so he continued his training and completed CAM’s entire suite of online courses. By doing so, he earned two diplomas: F&I Management and Sales Management.  He also earned a Compliance certification.

Within 90 days his income had almost tripled, and in just over 12 months Jeremy found himself working his dream job as a Sales Manager at McLaren-Lamborghini in Newport Beach, CA.

Here’s how Jeremy described his skyrocketed success:

“When I enrolled in the College I was selling 8-9 vehicles a month, and putting $12,000 to $15,000 a month of total gross profit on the books for my dealership in the internet department.  Rather than go through the entire course quickly like others have done, I stayed focused on the course content that could help me increase my skills using the phones, email and selling.  Within 60 days my income more than doubled from $4,000/mo to more than $9,000/mo.  It continued to increase to over $11,500/mo the following month.  12 months later I had put more than $500,000 of total gross profit on the book for my dealership, selling 15-20 cars a month, and made myself well over $100,000 for the year.  I was then offered a position at a Lamborghini store due to my sales skills and training where I have been given the opportunity to conduct the entire transaction from beginning to end (sales, desk and F&I) and I Love It!”

Like many of our graduates, Jeremy recognized the importance and benefits of sharpening his skills and furthering his career by investing in higher education, even though he was a seasoned professional.

To read more about how Jeremy’s income skyrocketed as a result of his education through CAM, click HERE.

CAM Graduate Christopher Write proudly displays his Finance Manager Certification DiplomaChristopher Wright, a graduate of CAM’s F&I and Compliance certifications, was thrilled with the employment benefits he enjoyed as a result of completing his education through CAM. His story is especially poignant because he was hired as a Finance Manager with no prior F&I experience during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“They were very impressed that I went to the College of Automotive Management,” Christopher told his career coach. “The value of this training has been immeasurable.”

Christopher had worked in automotive sales for several years but decided it was time to get the promotion to F&I that he had dreamed of. So he did his research and in doing so, discovered that CAM’s Finance Manager training was the best and most comprehensive one out there.

So he enrolled in CAM’s Finance Manager and Compliance Training programs in late May of 2020. Just six weeks later, in early July, he was offered two Finance Manager positions by dealerships who recognized the value of a quality candidate trained by the College of Automotive Management.

Christopher achieved his dream of becoming a prestigious Finance Manager in only six weeks, and experienced first-hand just true it is that employers prefer to hire CAM grads!

To read more about Christopher Wright’s experience with getting hired as a Finance Manager with no prior F&I experience during the COVID-19 shutdowns, click HERE.

CAM Graduate Jesse George displays his two diplomasCollege-level trained F&I and Sales Managers also make excellent candidates for high paying Corporate representative positions with companies that do business with automotive dealers.  Jesse George was already a top salesperson with the top gross and CSI at his dealership when he contacted the College of Automotive Management. He was looking for the best and most expedient way to grow, improve and advance his career, and he knew that getting a college-level education was the best way to do it.

Companies that do business with automotive dealers naturally prefer candidates that are fully versed in all aspects of dealership retail management and can speak intelligently as a consultant when representing their products.

A great example is ACV Auto Auctions who does business with thousands of dealerships Nationwide using a technology application to inspect and appraise vehicles for trade among dealerships.  They called the College of Automotive Management to help them fill several leadership positions within their company in various parts of the country.

The College immediately thought of Jesse George, a 21 year-old recent graduate of CAM’s entire suite of online courses, including F&I, Compliance and Sales Management certification programs.  Jesse had already demonstrated his ability to be a top performer during his online training in his role play videos and communications with his career coach.

The College gave a strong recommendation of Jesse to ACV Auctions and put them in touch so they could review his resume.  ACV Auctions respected CAM’s endorsement and gave Jesse an interview for the position.  Shortly thereafter, Jesse was offered a six-figure salary plus bonuses, and a leadership position with ACV Auto Auctions which he enthusiastically accepted.

To learn more about how Jesse’s experience with the College helped him secure a six-figure income at 21 years of age, click HERE.

Companies that provide products and services to auto dealers also prefer CAM Graduates

Warranty companies, aftermarket accessory companies, and other companies that provide products and services to auto dealers prefer employees that are fully trained in dealership operations. These employees have the ability to act as a “consultant” for the dealer’s business as well as the company’s products when selling and servicing dealership accounts.

Insignia recommends graduates of the College of Automotive Management and adds valuable curriculum content to CAM's trainingInsignia, a nationwide company providing state of the art digital catalogs for truck and vehicle accessories to auto dealers knows that the best success is achieved by employees who have a thorough knowledge of deal structuring and loan underwriting. This is true of their own sales staff as well as the sales team in a dealership.

For example, a salesperson would be most successful with Insignia’s offerings if they knew the difference between hard adds and soft adds per lender guidelines, as well as the overall dynamics of the sales and F&I process. Graduates of the College of Automotive Management’s Sales and Finance Manager training programs learn this, among many other things, and Insignia knows that. Therefore, Insignia Group has determined that the College of Automotive Management is the best place for dealers to find and hire the perfect candidates to execute their best-in-class sales process. They had this to say about CAM’s College-level trained candidates:

“We prefer employees that are committed to a career in automotive. Employees who fully understand the retail sales, desking and F&I processes at a dealership, and who have a deep understanding of loan and lease underwriting guidelines that help determine the success of accessory sales within our dealer client base are invaluable.  There is no more target-rich environment than the College of Automotive Management, where many of the students pay for their own career education, to find these committed, qualified candidates for our next company hire,” says David Stringer, CEO of Insignia Group.

To learn more about Insignia’s partnership with the College of Automotive Management, CLICK HERE.

FiQoreFIQore prefers to work with CAM Grads and partners with CAM to provide ongoing training to associates is another company that recognizes the importance of hiring and recommending CAM graduates to their dealer partners. FiQore is a leader in automotive finance, finance products, income development, and emerging automotive technology and provides traditional F&I outsourcing services to the auto and RV industries. FiQore has selected CAM to provide automotive career training to their valued employees, agents and dealer clients.

“We prefer working with individuals trained by the College of Automotive Management,” says Jesse James, Chief Revenue Officer at FiQore. “That’s why we’ve committed to ensuring all of our loan underwriters and income development agents receive CAM training and certification as part of our commitment to continuous skill development at FiQore.  We’ve also added the College of Automotive Management career training programs to our product offerings for dealers via our state of the art online FiQore Academy.  With the exceptional online career training resources provided by CAM, FiQore will increase our agents’ income potential as our agents are providing an even greater level of value and service to our dealers.”

To learn more about FiQore’s partnership with the College of Automotive Management, CLICK HERE.

Attending a college-level automotive management program that employers recognize and prefer is one of the best ways success-oriented individuals can embark on a lucrative and fulfilling career path. This kind of education will help individuals maximize the odds of obtaining an automotive F&I or Sales Management position in the least amount of time, while having the most success and earning the highest income, and becoming the best candidate for the next promotion for F&I or Sales Management.

To learn more about employers that prefer college-level trained F&I and sales management candidates or to get started with your education, click here.

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