New Stats on Why It’s Good to Be an Auto Tech Today
The future looks bright for automotive technicians today in terms of salary increases, variety of opportunities, and high demand for techs with the right skill sets. Here are some new statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources that give ample reason on why it’s good to be an auto tech today.
According to Tony Mola, VP of communications for ASE, there is a looming shortage of skilled automotive technicians in the U.S. Of the over 300k ASE-certified techs in the U.S., the average age is 42 years old, so we’ll need 75k new technicians every year to keep up with the demand as older techs retire. Skilled techs can make $75k-$85k per year, even in areas with a low cost of living.
Other factors that contribute to the opportunities for techs are that the number of repair facilities is on the rise, even though the industry is consolidating due to mergers and acquisitions.
The most successful techs will be those that focus on continually learning and expanding their skill sets. While wages are expected to increase by 1% every year over the next five years, it will be challenging for the industry to find skilled mechanics even to fill their basic job openings. The techs with more up-to-date skills will have even more opportunities. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated a 34.1 MPG efficiency requirement for vehicles by 2016. The OEMs will have to respond to this measure by implementing fuel-efficient technologies, such as battery-powered, hybrid-powered, and direct injection engines to meet this requirement. Auto mechanics who are both generalists and who also undergo rigorous training to repair technologically advanced vehicles will have the most opportunities available to them. Even though vehicles have become increasingly electronic, today, less than half of ASE-certified techs (140k) are certified in electrical systems.
RepairPal Certified shops are up on these trends: 68% already repair electric and/or hybrid vehicles, and another 35% plan to do so in the next five years. In addition, 67% plan on investing in training for their technicians in repairs and maintenance for these types of vehicles. Globally, electric vehicles production is forecast to increase by 67% this year, so the trends in repair needs are clear.
And where do techs make the most money in the U.S.?
Techs on the East and West coasts make the most money, as do those in Michigan. Techs in other parts of the Midwest and in the South also do well, where generally costs of living are lower, making the opportunities even more inviting.
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