According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026." Yet, there is rising shortage of qualified automotive technicians. Why is this?
A recent article by Car and Driver points out that the industry is facing some challenges, including low starting pay, expensive tools, parents and high school counselors pushing students toward four-year college degrees, and the difficulty of enticing "today’s tech-oriented youth into a profession that requires getting their hands dirty."
However, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, manufacturers, and schools are beginning to develop partnerships to recruit young technicians into an industry that is changing rapidly with technology. As Car and Driver points out,
"...today’s vehicles contain dozens of interconnected computers, so it’s nearly impossible to repair a vehicle without hooking it up to expensive diagnostic equipment or at the very least a laptop computer. A technician still needs to know how to strip down and reassemble mechanical components without damaging bolt threads, warping flat surfaces, or cracking soft metal, but also how to operate and interpret these many-layered computer applications. This is what has transformed the profession into a highly technical one in which digital skills can translate into successful problem solving. It’s also made cars less accessible to do-it-yourselfers, making the need for skilled technicians all the more acute."
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