TechForce Foundation has released its 2022 Technician Supply & Demand Report for transportation technicians. Since its inception six years ago, this report has focused on three industry segments: automotive, diesel and collision. In a report to our sister publication, Tire Review, TechForce Foundation’s Greg Settle explains that there’s some good news: in the automotive sector, total technician employment increased from 2020 to 2021. This at least partially offsets the rather severe drop in technician employment from 2019 to 2020.
Unfortunately, the number of graduates (completions) from post-secondary automotive training programs began dropping in 2012, with lower numbers each subsequent year. In 2012, completions numbered nearly 41,000. Last year, that number dropped below 29,000, representing a 34% decline over a 10-year span. The severe drop from 2020 to 2021 – nearly 12% – is even more alarming.
Settle explains that, while 72% of current high school students believe it’s important to consider alternatives to a traditional four-year college, just 30% have considered vocational/trade schools as a viable option.
51% of students polled responded, “I don’t know enough about it” as their No. 1 reason for not considering enrolling in a vocational/trade school.
“It is very apparent that without deliberate, focused and ongoing efforts by the industry, the likelihood of filling open positions in sufficient numbers is low,” Settle explains.
To read the rest of his analysis, including some uncomfortable facts about starting wages, click HERE.