According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there are approximately 750,000 employed mechanics. To meet demand, it’s estimated that the industry will need 46,000 more by 2026 — a 6% growth from 2016. But the older generation of mechanics retiring and the newer mechanics not lasting are creating a shortage of workers. The turnover rate for mechanics has risen from 25.1% to 27.2%, and the shortage is predicted to be between 20,000 to 25,000 mechanics.
Why the High Mechanic Turnover?
Industry insiders report that half of entry-level mechanics leave their job within two years, the reasons being:
- Shop environment
- Undefined career ladders
- Having to spend $5,000-$50,000 on their own tools
What Does the Mechanic Shortage Mean?
Generally, mechanics generate $1,000 in gross revenue in a workday. A dealership being short of a mechanic for 3 months could mean a loss of $90,000.
Fighting Mechanic Turnover
The answer to reducing mechanic turnover lies in three elements: shop culture, high school shop classes, and retention and recruitment tools.
Out of a survey of 15,000 mechanics, it was found that the typical mechanic would not recommend their career to a friend. Industry insiders say that shop culture hasn’t changed from the mid-20th century – the crude, “grease monkey” mechanic culture is still prevalent, which may be why only 1% of mechanics are women. It’s difficult to fight turnover and recruit mechanics when half of the population isn’t interested in the work.
High School Shop Classes
As STEM and coding take over, less and less high school classes are offering auto shop programs, and the ones that do aren’t teaching skills that mechanics actually need. High school auto shop classes often teach students how to tear down engines or repair transmissions. What they should be taught is light repair work, as that’s 70% of a mechanic’s job.
Retention and Recruitment Tools
Shop owners need to utilize retention and recruitment software that wasn’t available to employers generations ago. Retinent helps you keep your employees and hire new, qualified ones through our incentivized referral program. Contact us for a free demo today.