CLEVELAND, Ohio — Auto technicians are hard at work, and there’s too few of them —which is creating problems for many service providers like David Eschbaugh at Porsche Beachwood.
- According to Matrix Trade Institute, about 100,000 auto technicians are needed right now across the country
- Industry workers say the shortage can lead to difficulty getting customers service in a timely fashion, and more mistakes can happen
- Matrix is using a 20-week training program to get workers the training to climb the ladder quicker and help employers get technicians the training to do different jobs
"Difficulty getting clients in a timely fashion, out in a timely fashion, techs are working on multiple vehicles at the same time, it’s going to create mistakes. We don’t have issues hiring people, we have issues finding people," said Eschbaugh, service manager, Porsche Beachwood.
Eschbaugh says even dealerships handling prestigious brands like Porsche are struggling.
As is Crestmont Cadillac, where Kevin Gillespie says many young people don’t see a solid career path as a technician.
"They’re just used to their parents and family members and everybody else encouraging them to go traditional formal education, whether it’s a two-year or four-year college, as opposed to getting into a trade in which can set them up for a better future earlier in life," said Gillespie, service director, Crestmont Cadillac.
But trade institutes like Matrix are hoping to open the doors for more career improvement.
CEO Dustin Peugeot says his school provides necessary training for technicians already in the industry to make more money and for employers to train technicians for different roles.
In a 20-week program, he says, “The return on investment is almost instantaneous for the employer, but more importantly, that employee sees a career path. Employees who are trained and are shown a career path by their employer, they don’t want to leave, they don’t want to defect."
Peugeot says about 100,000 auto technicians are needed right now across the country, with experts predicting that half the technicians in the United States will be retiring in the next 10 years.
According to Peugeot, technicians starting out can make anywhere between $40,000 to $70,000, with less schooling than traditional college.
"Money is not the problem with developing talent in the auto industry. Proper education, proper education, efficiency training, and access to a local training partner to help develop those who want to grow, that’s what’s lacking and that’s what we aim to fill," he said.
On a national scale, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says about 76,000 mechanics are needed between now and 2026 each year to fill open mechanic jobs.