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Should You Become an auto technician — Part 2

Should You Become an auto technician — Part 2

If you’ve read Part 1 of Should you become an auto technician, finish with Part 2

A high interest in mechanics, physics and computers is what draws people to becoming an auto technician. No matter how strong your passion, you’re about to enter in industry that has some problems with complaints about culture, hours, benefits and diversity. Things are starting to change slowly for the better, but it’s not there yet. Here are some findings of workplace satisfaction from several recent studies.

Cox Automotive is a training/consulting firm for automotive dealerships. They provide training for sales and service department personnel. Due to the severe shortage of auto technicians, Cox has done several surveys to discover how and why people enter the automotive service field. Here are some key findings from that survey.

• 1/3 of the members of Generation Z and younger millennials (ages 22 to 28) express interest in working for a dealership. That’s 10% higher than among older millennials or members of Gen X (29-54). Their interest lies in auto technician as well as sales and administrative positions.

• The industry has an alarming rate of turnover among service advisors—around 50%, but that may be moderating a bit in 2019.

• ½ or more of service advisors and other auto technicians are likely to feel disengaged from their jobs.

The automotive industry must change in order to attract and retain solid engaged service employees. Specifically, the industry must:

1.     Embrace a more flexible culture
2.     Change pay and benefits plans
3.     Offer career planning and professional development opportunities
4.     Offer the most up to date tools and technology
5.     Make a more diverse workplace\

Auto technicians want a better work/life balance with greater scheduling flexibility with more weekends and nights free, as well as fewer hours and more vacation time. Some dealerships have adopted four-day work weeks to accommodate those needs.

Current and future dealership employees hate commission-based compensation. Complaints about commission-based pay are a big factor in high turnover rates. They especially hate the pressure to upsell customers.

Auto technicians cite flat-rate pay as a major reason for discontent with their job. More dealerships are introducing a hybrid pay plan that includes income guarantees.

Lack of a career path is a major factor in turnover. This includes poor or no training and sporadic or no feedback from managers about job performance, goals and options. Workers feel their bosses don’t care about them.

A study by Carlisle & Co. shows “rampant job dissatisfaction among the 35,000 dealership auto technicians the company surveyed in the United States and Canada. Among their biggest gripes: poor access to special tools, workshop technology and diagnostic equipment.”

The 2018 NADA work force study found that “barely 1 percent of dealership auto technicians were women. Whatever the reason, that blatant imbalance doesn’t suggest an industry that’s interested in looking like its customer base or overcoming the auto technician shortage. Similarly, just one of five service advisers is female, although Fred notes: “Women make great service advisers.”

To see the latest Auto Tech Satisfaction Survey, click here

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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