As the auto industry rebounds, related businesses and occupations are feeling an increase in demand. One such occupation is Automotive Technicians and Repairers. The BLS predicts 124,000 Automotive Technicians and Repairers will be needed in the US between 2010 and 2020. A challenge with filling these positions is that candidates need specialized skills to keep up with changing technologies and fill spots of retirees.
Automotive Technicians and Repairers hiring demand has grown each year since 2008. In August 2012, demand reached a new 4-year high with, more than 38,000 job ads posted online. However, demand has declined slightly each month and in October, the number of available jobs ads was just 1% higher than the same time last year.
Hiring Demand for Automotive Technicians and Repairers
In Yahoo!'s article, Who's Hiring, High Paying Jobs that Nobody Wants, General Motors (GM) Manager of Auto Service Education Program, Rich Orbain, mentioned that despite having training programs at 61 community colleges, GM only gets 500 trained new technicians each year, when they really need 2,500. He adds, "Recruiting, hiring, and training good workers is no easy task, but it's one that GM and thousands of its dealers are trying to get ahead of." Since Automotive Technicians and Repairers are becoming more technical, dealing with a growing number of electronic systems, other employers are also reporting difficulties finding candidates with the right skills. A negative impression of the position may also affect employer's ability to attract candidates. Orbain describes the stigma associated with the job, "it sounds like the old "grease monkey" type of character and it's not like that at all."
Recruiters may experience less difficulty sourcing this talent in cities like Chicago, IL where the qualified talent pool exceeds hiring demand. Lake Charles (LA), Springfield (IL), Yuma (AZ), and Battle Creek (MI) also present more favorable recruiting conditions.
Hiring Scale Snap Shot for Automotive Technicians and Repairers
New car dealers, like GM, are among the automotive industries with the most demand for Automotive Technicians and Repairers. Tire Dealers, Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores, General Automotive Repair, and Department Stores (such as Sears) follow in demand and the join the competition for skilled talent. Employers are advertising for candidates that are skilled in automotive mechanical diagnosis, customer service, oil filters, leadership, and troubleshooting. With companies looking for skills like these, it's apparent that this is no longer a "grease monkey" job. Automotive Technicians and Repairers are not only required to identify and solve a vehicle's problem, but they also need to direct teams and ensure customer satisfaction.
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