eBook Excerpts Part 2: Shop Strategies to Deal with the Technician Shortage

For over 15 years, auto repair has faced a major shortage of qualified technicians. This industry challenge remains one of the top hurdles for growth-minded shops.

» Want to grow your auto repair business? Click here to schedule a demo.

What is causing this shortage? And what can shops do to attract talented techs to work for them? 

AutoLeap’s eBook answers these questions and many more, covering: 

  • Five key reasons that the technician shortage exists
  • Qualities that techs value most in an auto repair shop 
  • Proven shop strategies to attract (and retain) qualified mechanics

Top causes of the technician shortage

No single reason explains the increased demand and shortened supply of qualified techs in auto repair. 

Instead, many factors contribute to the issue. Here are five of the core reasons: 

  • Increased retirement rates: As an older industry, retirement rates for experienced technicians continue to climb. With more techs out the door and fewer techs coming in, that presents a real issue for the industry. 

  • Reduced trade programs: With reduced funding for trades in high schools, fewer students get exposed to the profession at an early age. As a result, young professionals with mechanical skills may never have the opportunity to apply them. 

  • Limited career growth perception: The mechanic profession gets a bad rap among many working professionals. But this perception is flawed. It takes immense experience and technical ability to become a certified technician. As an industry, these false narratives need countering. 

  • Emerging vehicle tech: Electric vehicles (EVs) and ADAS-equipped cars are here. As automotive technology evolves, so will the approach needed to work on repairs. This adoption of new skills can intimidate prospective techs considering the profession.

  • Lack of salary upside: Top techs can make six-figure salaries at the right shop! But for prospective mechanics, the median pay doesn’t measure up with other professions. The auto repair industry needs to increase labor rates and pay its professionals more.

» Want more technician shortage insights? Click here to download our case study.

What qualified technicians look for in shops

You understand the reasons why fewer qualified technicians have entered the industry. These problems will require an industry-wide effort to address. 

But on the shop side, there are things you can do now to attract qualified tech talent. Here are five suggestions to create a shop environment that technicians value: 

  1. Healthy workspace: So what does a healthy workspace look like? For one, your shop should look clean and presentable. You also should provide the necessary equipment and tools your techs need to succeed. These details make a difference for qualified techs in high demand.

  2. Transparent communication: Relationships matter. As a shop owner, you should ensure your techs have a voice at the shop. To empower them in this manner, have regular 1:1s. Ask for their opinion frequently. Be open to incorporating their feedback.

  3. Training tools & development: As professionals, we all want to improve! The same motivation applies to your technicians. Beyond the day-to-day shop grind, set aside a budget for training conferences and seminars. When your techs grow, so does the quality and output at your shop. A win-win!

  4. Health insurance & retirement benefits: Most modern businesses offer health benefits, PTO packages, and other perks. So why doesn’t your shop? From a tool allowance to retirement plans, these details will factor into which shop a qualified tech will accept an offer at.

  5. Thoughtful work/life balance: The “work is life” mindset of older generations doesn’t appeal to young professionals. Qualified technicians value different things like spending time with their family and friends. Factor this detail into your shop strategies. A grueling workload with minimal time for personal lives will cause talented techs to leave your shop. 
» Do you want to unlock the full potential of your shop? Discover how our auto repair software can help.

Discover more shop strategies to address the tech shortage

These shortage strategies will help your shop hire (and retain) qualified tech talent. For more detailed insights on this topic, download our eBook here

Auto Repair Shop Management Software

AutoLeap is a powerful all-in-one auto repair shop software that helps to keep complete track of your business – from scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices.

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