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RepairPal Blog:

Mechanic's Corner

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 2

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While most shops have always had a certain amount of difficulty finding and keeping good quality technicians, the problem seems to be getting worse. It looks like this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Good quality shops that are committed to providing their technicians with what is needed to repair today’s complex cars and light trucks (tools, training, repair information) along with fair compensation have been able to continue attracting the best and brightest technicians.

RepairPal Top Shops are excellent examples of this. These shops tend to have a core group of very experienced technicians who have been working together for many years. Mixed in with this core group are a smaller number of younger technicians (most often these are fairly recent trade school graduates) who are willing and able to learn from the more experienced group. It takes a commitment from both the shop owners and technicians to make this work. At this critical stage in the development of our next generation of automotive technicians, we need more shops committed to this never ending training process.

As part of our RepairPal Top Shop assessment process, I have the opportunity to get to know these shops and their employees. I am continually impressed with the quality I find. I have often thought to myself if I had been working in a shop of this caliber, perhaps I would still be working in the trade. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my work at RepairPal, I most certainly do! It’s just that some shops are so much better at taking care of their employees, I cannot help but wonder what it would have been like if things had turned out differently for me and others like myself who have recently left the trade.

It is not cheap for a shop to take care of their employees. Tools, training, certifications, and fair compensation certainly add up. Shops that provide all of these things will generally have to charge more for their repairs than those that do not. So, how will you know if a repair shop has the qualifications to back up the prices they charge? That is where RepairPal comes in. We have done the homework for you. You can rest assured that all RepairPal Certified shops have proven to the AutoPro team at RepairPal that they have what it takes to get your vehicle repaired.

For more information about the RepairPal Top Shop program, please click here »

Add a Comment (3) Comments
  • Visitor, October 01, 2012, 19:23

    Very interesting article, I do agree that the big problem of qualified labor is in big part the poor compensation that this trade has compared with the other trades even a Plomber has beter compensation in many cases with out the big expenses an Auto tech has to make in tools and equipment . there is another big problem we have in this industry, and that is the proliferation of non qualified shops that are undemining the level of respect we need and deserve, I think it is time for Profesional Shops to be certified, aditional to the certifications the technicians have to have from ASE.

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  • Visitor, November 07, 2013, 16:04

    As a former recruiter, Auto Techs are horrible at promoting themselves and they job hop frequently. Even the incredibly skilled ones. Auto Techs can be extremely unprofessional when it comes to the hiring process and leaving a shop. These are guys who know cars, not business. They burn bridges, and can be incredibly difficult to manage at times. That is why when you go to a shop that has a incredibly experienced Technican, and he has been at that location for a long time, to me it shows all around professionalism. A shop that takes care of their technicans will take excellent care of your vehichle.

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  • chuck coats, October 17, 2014, 16:49
     Enthusiast

    Being a shop owner over the last 11 years and being in the industry as an auto tech for the last 25 years, I have seen my share of auto techs.. There are very few really good ones. They sound good up front and look great on their resumé , if they have one, but after a few weeks they will show you who they really are.. Most fall way short when you compare their ability and actions to how good they think they are up front. A really good tech needs three basic things. 1. Have plenty of good quality tools, including speciality tools. 2. Has to know what he is doing and be able to learn and willing to learn. 3. Has to be dedicated to his job, which means showing up every day and being on time. My experience I can find a tech who has plenty of tools, knows what to do but cant get to work because he stays out drunk every other night. Or I have a tech who has tools, shows up to work and has NO idea what to do. Or I have a mechanic who can fix anything and will get to work but his great uncle has his tools in another state or his ex wife ended up with his tools because of a divorce... bla bla bla... If I can find a tech who has all three--- Plenty of tools, knows what to do, and is committed to his career then I would have a great tech. Here is the kicker... If this tech can manage his money/time-- then I will show you a soon to be shop owner.

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