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Auto technician satisfaction survey overview — Part 3

Auto technician satisfaction survey shows auto techs are not happy

2020 Carlisle Auto Technician Satisfaction Survey shows deep dissatisfaction

The 202 Carlisle Auto Tech Annual Survey shows that automotive technicians are “pretty deeply unhappy” with their careers in auto repair. Here are some key findings in the survey:

• 27% of auto techs are very satisfied with their jobs, compared to 48% service advisers and 44% for service managers.
• Only 16% of technicians would recommend their career to someone else
• Approximately 40% of techs polled then had planned to leave their jobs within two years

Most common complaints from Auto Technician Satisfaction Survey

  • No pay or low pay for performing diagnostic work, especially since that type of work consumes about 25% of their working hours.
  • Dealers not buying required specialty tools or keeping enough of those specialty tools on hand. that causes repair delays that the techs don’t get paid for.
  • Not getting paid for the “free” multipoint inspections dealers provide to customers. That takes up a the tech’s time and only results in paid hours if the inspections turn into actual repair orders.

Not much has changed from the 2018 Auto Technician Satisfaction

The 2018 dealer auto tech survey shows these stats for the average auto techs in the U.S. and Canada (Source: 2018 Technician Survey, Carlisle & Co.). The 2018 survey results are based on responses from 35,000 dealer techs.

Average tech in survey is:

• 40 years old
• Has been a tech for about 20 years
• Earns nearly $61,000 a year
• Works 49 hours a week in the U.S. (43 in Canada)

2018 auto tech survey shows auto tech dissatisfaction

#1 complaint: Only 21% are happy with the dealer’s flat-rate pay plans and cite poor communication with service advisers

Only 42% are happy with the level of technical training
38% are happy with the amount of field technical support
34% say they are happy with the available online/phone technical support
32% are happy with the dealer’s access to service information
30% says the dealer provide the special tools and equipment they need
27% are happy with workshop technology
25% are happy with the dealer’s diagnostic equipment
Pay plan 21%
52% of the techs say they wouldn’t recommended their job to a friend.

How Auto Techs are paid at dealers in the U.S. and Canada

• 73% of U.S. auto techs are paid by flat-rate pay plans, despite the fact that flat rate pay plans are very unpopular with auto techs.
• 7% are paid with guaranteed hours plus flat rate 7
• 7% are paid hourly
• 7% are paid hourly with a production bonus
• 4% are paid on straight salary
• 1% Have a team-based pay plan

The auto techs that are most happy with their jobs

• Feel that they have a clear career path
• Feel supported and recognized by their bosses
• Like their co-workers

Straight salary auto techs

The straight salary techs break into two groups: High skilled techs that specialize in diagnostic work and low skill express service and quick lube work. The high skilled techs on straight salary are generally the older techs that express high job satisfaction, while the low skill techs tend to be the youngest and generally unhappy with their work

Dealer tech’s happiness is directly related to the service advisor

Auto techs work directly with a service advisor and the relationship they have with their advisor has a direct bearing on their job satisfaction and their willingness to recommend their job to friends.

The auto techs that are happy with their service advisor state that they they have best relationship with advisors the write accurate and complete repair orders and promise realistic completion times.

Changes by dealers to retain auto techs

• Some dealers are adopting four-day work weeks.
• Changing the way jobs are assigned, like using automated dispatch systems that remove personal preferences that techs see as unfair.
• Better specialty tool storage at their dealership, which speeds up their work
• Better technical support from automakers and allowing the tech to speak directly with support team instead of allowing only the shop foreman access to the support calls.
• Better access to online service information

More statistics regarding auto technician satisfaction

There stats are from Wrenchway.com

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.

Do auto technicians prefer a dealership versus independent shop?

Source: Wrenchway.com

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.

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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