Vehicles are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, rolling off assembly lines programmed with computers, sensors, and infotainment consoles. Simply put, these cars are more dependent on technology than ever before. With cars becoming smarter, consumers are buying cars at a greater rate and keeping them longer.
So what happens when you have more complicated, aging cars on the road? Well, you need more qualified auto mechanics. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the automotive industry needs to add approximately 76,000 technicians each year, but with only about 37,000 newly trained technicians joining the workforce each year, that leaves a shortage that only continues to compound.
Qualified mechanics play an essential role in helping drive daily life forward. This is why the automotive industry is focused on developing solutions to solve the shortage of auto mechanics.
Skilled Automotive Technicians are in High Demand
Today’s auto technicians are an indispensable part of our car-dependent society. We rely on them to accurately inspect, diagnose, maintain, and repair our vehicles. In view of how far car manufacturing has come, the job of an auto mechanic is much more analytical than it once was. These technicians don’t simply replace a part; they diagnose the underlying problem.
As cars become more software-driven, they also require a greater level of knowledge from automotive technicians. Not to mention the dozens of different car brands, and even more car styles, complicating the repair process even more.
Technicians, also called auto mechanics, not only need to be able to perform traditional maintenance for all these different types of vehicles, such as performing preventive maintenance work, replacing belts and hoses, oil changes, and tire rotations, but they also need to be able to troubleshoot the electronics found in today’s cars. The knowledge to perform all of these tasks means that mechanics need a greater level of training and ASE certifications to work on these cars.
Why did schools stop offering shop classes?
Many high schools used to offer a variety of shop classes, including woodshop, metal shop, and auto shop, to name a few. Lately, the availability of these classes has been declining. One reason that schools no longer offer these classes is changing academic standards. In places where schools are rated based on standardized tests and performance in core classes, many high schools often don’t have funding or incentive to continue to offer shop classes.
Developing Solutions for the shortage of Auto Mechanics
While high schools still teach all the basic subjects, like math, history, science, and English, there are many others that have all but disappeared, classes such as home economics, typing, drivers ed, and a variety of shop classes like woodshop, metal shop, and auto shop. These hands-on classes not only taught practical skills but also provided engineering, technology, math, and science knowledge. Now, as these classes are offered less and less, we are facing a lack of skilled laborers in a variety of industries, including the automotive industry.
One of the most effective ways to address the auto mechanic shortage is to increase students’ awareness, particularly high school students, of careers in the automotive industry. Students need to understand that the career of an auto mechanic is evolving, and auto technicians are professionals with post-secondary education and training.
Many groups within the automotive industry are also launching programs and initiatives aimed at recruiting prospective technicians. Both the NADA Foundation and Icahn Automotive, which owns and operates several auto repair and maintenance providers, have launched programs designed to promote automotive technician careers.
Collectively these programs offer conferences, learning events, scholarships, apprenticeship programs, job placement, and career fairs designed to encourage more men and women to pursue careers in the automotive industry. There are still many students, both in high school and in community colleges, with mechanical minds who enjoy working with their hands. Providing these students with exposure to the industry and making them aware of the opportunities available will prove beneficial for the industry.
Auto mechanics not only keep our vehicles running, but they keep business driving forward. Vehicles are our transportation, they deliver resources and food, and it takes skilled automotive technicians to keep all of our vehicles on the road. Being an auto mechanic today requires both technical and communication skills to inspect, repair, and maintain vehicles, as well as meeting with customers and keeping them informed throughout the repair process.
Safeguard knows that the way people shop for cars or services has changed. That’s why your local Safeguard Advisor has traffic-driving products, services, and ideas to bring customers to your shop or showroom. Rely on Safeguard for specialized solutions that help you run your business more efficiently and promote it more effectively.
- Qualified mechanics play an essential role in helping drive daily life forward.
- The automotive industry needs to add approximately 76,000 technicians each year, but only about 37,000 newly trained technicians join the workforce each year.
- One of the most effective ways to address the shortage of auto mechanics is to increase students’ awareness of the industry.
- Auto mechanics need to be able to perform traditional maintenance as well as troubleshoot the electronics found in today’s cars.
- Your local Safeguard Advisor has traffic-driving products, services, and ideas to bring customers to your shop or showroom and drive success long term.