WASHINGTON, D.C. – Automotive repair shops across the country are struggling amid a huge national shortage of qualified auto mechanics, leading to increased delays and higher prices for customers when they bring their vehicles in for service.
According to auto shop repair owners, veteran mechanics have been retiring at a much faster pace than in the past, with the problem becoming particularly acute since COVID-19 hit according to Emily’s Garage Manager Nolan Bailey, who said that his business has been struggling to fill an open position for quite some time.
It’s been tough, especially since the pandemic,” he said. “Usually, you could put out an application. And when people are work hungry, you’d get 20, 30 applicants maybe in a week or two. In this case, we got maybe four or five applicants over the course of two months.”
Bailey noted that in order to attract more applicants, the garage has had to raise their wages.
As per a report released by the National Automobile Dealer Association, there is a decisively large imbalance between number of trained mechanics entering the workforce and the number of positions that need filling. On an annual basis, there are approximately 76,000 auto mechanic jobs available, yet only 39,000 workers are graduating yearly from technical colleges and training programs, representing a significant disparity.
Another issue contributing to the lack of mechanics is the fact that many high schools have phased out auto shop programs that gave students an opportunity to get hands-on with cars to see if they were interested in a potential career path working on them.
Scott Benavidez with the Automotive Service Industry notes that the situation is quickly becoming a crisis for the vehicle repair field.
We’re starting to see a lot of the old timers time out of this repair industry,” he said. “And it’s really getting scary for our community.”
Joe Mcdermott is a journalist, reporter and writer for SEARCHEN NETWORKS® as well as other independent news and media organizations in the United States. Joe works on a wide variety of topics and fields, has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, from local to national, and helps keep a keen-eye on what’s happening in the automotive world for Auto Buyers Market.