The technician shortage is no joke. By 2024, there will be a shortage of approximately 642,000 technicians (automotive, diesel, and collision) in the industry.
But what can shops be doing to improve the trade so that more people want to enter the industry and less people want to leave? The key to answering these very big questions is to start by talking to the technicians themselves.
Over the last year, we have been gathering feedback from technicians in the WrenchWay mobile app as a part of our WrenchWay Insiders program. The goal of Insiders is to gather feedback from technicians to learn what shops and schools can do to improve the industry and combat the technician shortage.
To help shop owners and industry professionals better understand technician satisfaction and views, we’ve compiled the following list of statistics collected from our WrenchWay mobile app.
Technician Job Satisfaction Statistics
- 81% of technicians would prefer to be called “technicians” versus “mechanics.”
- 79% of technicians have considered leaving the industry.
- 65% of technicians have left or considered leaving a job because of a manager.
- 40% of technicians agree their favorite part about being a technician is getting to work with their hands. 38% of technicians enjoy using their critical thinking skills.
- 69% of technicians believe they are experiencing some level of job burnout.
- 43% of technicians say compensation is the biggest factor that keeps them working at their shop.
- 40% of technicians agree that pay structure is the most important thing that needs to be fixed in order to combat the technician shortage.
- 30% of technicians say pay is their biggest frustration at work, followed by career advancement limitations (26%)
- When it comes to tools, 40% of technicians agree diagnostic tools (or lack thereof) cause the most issues in the shop.
Technician Training & Career Development Statistics
- 66% of technicians say having an onboarding process impacts their decision to work at a shop.
- 90% of technicians think cross-training in a shop is important.
- Only 38% of shops offer technicians cross-training in other areas such as finance, advising, etc.
- Technicians are most interested in management training (50%), followed by parts (14%), finance (10%), and advising (10%).
- 79% of technicians say they have a step-by-step diagnostic process.
- 61% of technicians think their shop understands the importance of training employees.
- 41% of shops offer technician training 3+ times a year.
- 75% of technicians say their shop either encourages or requires them to obtain certifications.
- 70% of shops pay for technician certifications.
- 52% of technicians think their shop has a clear path for career advancement.
- 57% of technicians do not think that performance metrics (i.e., efficiency, hours billed, rework, etc.) are an accurate representation of their work.
Technician Work Environment Statistics
- 22% of technicians don’t mind working weekends, and an additional 44% will work weekends for the right incentives.
- When it comes to employee recognition, 48% of technicians prefer a small gift (i.e, lunch, gift card, etc.) while 33% simply prefer a one-on-one conversation with their manager.
- 38% of technicians say their shop has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement. 30% of technicians say their shop does not have a DEI statement, and 33% are unsure.
- 57% of technicians say their shop does not share financial results with the team.
- 76% of technicians have experienced at least one injury working in the shop.
- 59% of technicians are required to wear safety glasses while working.
- 63% of technicians believe their shop supports injury prevention.
- 57% of technicians say they think technicians spend $60,000+ on tools over the course of their career.
- 74% of technicians care if their shop is involved with local schools.
Feedback on Working at an Independent Shop vs. Dealership
- Technicians feel the biggest advantage of working at a dealership are the facilities (46%).
- 48% of technicians feel the biggest disadvantage of working at a dealership is the warranty work.
- 60% of technicians feel the biggest advantage of working at an independent shop is the variety of work. Whereas the biggest disadvantages of working at an independent shop are budget limitations and lack of growth opportunities (both at 34% each).
- 80% of technicians do not think warranty repayment rates are fair.
- 77% of technicians feel manufacturers do not properly communicate how they develop labor times.
- Nearly 70% of technicians feel there isn’t a good way to communicate back to manufacturers when they don’t agree with a flat rate labor allowance.
Technician Recruiting Trends
- 84% of technicians think high schools discourage students from entering the trades.
- 85% of technicians think video helps them determine if a shop is a good fit for them to work at.
- 97% of technicians prefer unscripted, unproduced videos of employees talking about what it’s like to work in the shop over corporate recruiting videos.
- Even when they aren’t actively looking for a job, 81% of technicians still like watching behind the scenes videos of shops.
- When it comes to the hiring process, 38% of technicians are most stressed waiting for a callback.
- 32% of technicians get stressed about creating/updating a resume.
- 75% of technicians would refer someone to work at their shop.
- 56% of technicians are willing to share a job opening at their shop on their personal Facebook or LinkedIn page.
- 33% of technicians think the biggest challenge of being a new technician is the tool investment.
- 87% of technicians think it is important to include salary in a job posting.
- 75% of technicians think shops do not include enough information in a job posting.
- 76% of technicians do not think their shop does enough to help schools attract more students into technician programs.
Last updated: February 2022
Bonus! Technician Shortage Infographic