There Is a Shortage Of Qualified Mechanics, Why? A Look At The Numbers

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infographic why are mechanics so hard to find

Why Are Mechanics So Hard To Find?

If you ask most Maintenance Managers or Service Managers what their biggest challenge is, most will tell you it is finding good mechanics to Hire. There is a huge shortage of good technicians in the trade, and it seems to be only getting worse. 

There are a variety of reasons why we have such a shortage of mechanics but like everything, it boils down to a supply and demand issue. 

Supply is down for 3 main reasons. Firstly there are fewer people enrolling in trade schools. Across Canada enrollment in Mechanic Apprenticeships went down 6% from 2013 – 2016 and this is a continuing trend going back many years. There was a real push from High Schools in the 90’s and 2000’s to get kids ready for University and the trades seemingly got ignored.

The second reason for a drop in the number of Mechanics is due to massive numbers of people retiring. It has been estimated that across North America there are 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day. Of course, not all of these are mechanics but some of them are and they are not being replaced fast enough.

Thirdly, getting into the trade now is harder and more expensive than ever. Vehicles are more advanced and are only progressing in their technology. There was a time when a good toolset consisted of wrenches and some other hand tools but now the Average Mechanic needs to invest $50,000 in tools just to be able to perform day to day repairs. This is a huge barrier to entry for those looking to get into the trade.

The flip side to the equation, demand, is only making the problem worse. According to Statista, there are approximately 39% more vehicles (Cars, Motorcycles, Trucks, Busses and Other Vehicles) on the road now since 1990. More vehicles require more mechanics, also when you factor in that vehicles are now more complex and there are more issues that can go wrong with them that only compounds the problem.

Unfortunately, the shortage of mechanics is not likely to be going away anytime soon. As electric vehicles gain popularity this might ease the problem as there is less maintenance required of an electric vehicle but until then make sure you treat your mechanic right and do all you can to retain them. 

2 thoughts on “There Is a Shortage Of Qualified Mechanics, Why? A Look At The Numbers”

  1. tech09

    Stop the flat rate system!

    You know labor time is screwed up, it’s all based on some stupid engineers/tech working on brand new car with no rusted/seized parts and the labor time gets shorter and shorter!

    Start paying hourly (plus commission based system as efficiency gets better). Sick and tired of not making dimes during slow season when you stay shop over hours with no cars coming in. It’s really hard when you are the bread earner of family. Pay the workers stable income.

    Pay at least the same (not if higher) as other skilled trades like electrician or plumbers. Why is it that mechanics have to update their knowledge with every new model but no increase in wage. In fact our wage compares to electricians or plumbers is joke.

    Shop should supply the tools. We can not keep spending $3,000 to 5,000 on tools every year because cars get more advanced while we make less than other trades with flat rates. I have not heard other trades spend this much money on tools(their company provides them!). The compamy should supply the tools. Or they should cover half the cost.

    You all knew these days would come. But profit driven motives made all you higher ups short sighted. We technicians are the ones who physically work on cars and bring you the profits.

    Millennials know the best when they smell BS. This trade is BS and the already know it. That’s why the younger generations are not getting into this trade.

    You want workers? Then treat them right!

  2. TP

    Wages. Pure and simple. Find another career. This isn’t one that will provide you with a quality life. Find a career in new technologies. This will never provide you with anything but a destroyed, worn out body.

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