With more technology being integrated into new vehicles, it might seem like auto mechanics are being driven out of the business. But that is simply not the case. Auto mechanics are needed now more than ever.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that there will be a need for more than 76,000 new auto mechanics by the year 2026. In this day and age, there are not many professions that predict that kind of employment growth. Job stability is critically important and it is one of the benefits offered to auto mechanics.
There is also pay to consider. The top 10 percent of auto mechanics across the country make more than $65,000 per year. Keep in mind that the cost of living in some states is significantly lower, which impacts nationwide averages. Auto mechanics also have the option of continuing their training, which will help in boosting their annual pay rates. Master auto mechanics can earn upwards of $100,000 per year in some states as these individuals have their veritable choice of jobs.
Becoming an auto mechanic does not happen without proper training. Those interested in entering this profession must receive formal training, which typically takes one to two years to complete. Trade schools offering automotive training programs are not as abundant as they were 10 years ago. However, there are still plenty in existence. And since the demand continues to grow, this trade could be considered a specialty in the years to come.
There is also the cost of tuition to consider. The cost of admission to an automotive training school is a fraction of what college students pay in tuition to private and state universities. In 2018, student loan debt reached an eye-popping total of $1.5 trillion, according to recent reports. College students are forced to pay exorbitant costs on their way towards earning a degree, although that degree does not guarantee employment.
The Strada Institute for the Future of Work joined together with Burning Glass Technologies to provide a report on the employment status of recent college graduates. The report reads that 43 percent of recent college graduates are employed at a business that does not require a college degree. And one of the long-time grievances among employers is that graduates do not always possess enough practical skills right out of college.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average college student will spend 7.4 months seeking out a job. This applies to those graduates who do not have a job set up right out of college. Most automotive training schools have work placement programs and relationships with local repair shops. Some even require internships at local automotive service centers. This helps graduates obtain a job right out of college.
Being an automotive repair student in the present day has its advantages. Students are learning more advanced techniques and how to work with new technology. Auto mechanics who graduated a decade ago are forced to learn all this new information on their own.
There has been a lot of talk about moving to self-driving cars in the future, although that looks to still be a long way off. Even when that does occur, it will simply mean that auto mechanics will evolve as well. It is a profession that is showing no signs of slowing down and since cars are still the primary means of transportation, the auto repair industry remains recession proof.
Working in this industry also provides a pathway towards owning your own business. Working as an auto mechanic provides a firsthand experience on how to run a shop. And without tens of thousands of dollars in student debt hanging over your head, acquiring a business loan or gathering capital is more feasible. That doesn’t mean becoming a shop owner is easy, but it is an option that is not realistic in every line of work.
So the next time you visit your local automotive service center, you will probably recognize your auto mechanic. That’s because he/she is not going away. It is a profession that is still in high demand, one that provides a future of stability and the chance for significant advancement.