I-Hub Blog

Shifting the Myth

Apr 16, 2018 6:00:00 AM / by Tom Gray, Director of Marketing Interstate Batteries

Many automotive technicians were inspired to work in this industry for very personal reasons – maybe they grew up working in their family’s repair shop, have a knack for taking stuff apart and putting it back together again or they’ve just always had a passion for cars. Instead of listening to conventional wisdom’s claims that the only path to a successful career is through a university education, they chose to go their own way and make a living using a trade.

  • But you have to wonder, how many talented people chose not to be a mechanic because of the negative perceptions related to this career, often supported by our culture’s bias against skilled laborers?.
  • How many people with great hands and careful minds chose to do something else?

The transportation industry is experiencing a significant shortage of qualified automotive technicians and it can be felt at every level – from the national brands that sell automotive products to the family-owned repair shops that use our batteries. The workforce shortage is unsustainable, especially as our industry is projected for substantial growth over the next several years.

Interstate Batteries Logo Partner of TechForce Foundation Interstate Batteries© wants to do our part by raising awareness about the positive aspects of a career as an automotive technician. By partnering with TechForce Foundation and the other industry partners, we can help shift the myths about automotive industry careers and encourage those who are interested in cars to explore the opportunities that are available. So, what are some of those myths?

 

MYTH: Lack of Opportunity for Growth

Interstate recently commissioned a study that surveyed more than 2,000 auto technicians to gain insights and better understand this field of work. We found that a third of automotive technicians are unsure whether it is their long-term career.

MYTH BUSTED: What many simply don’t realize, is there is great earning potential and almost guaranteed job security enjoyed by most automotive technicians. Whether it’s an independent spirit who wants to own a repair shop of his or her own, someone interested in specializing in specific cars or a racing enthusiast who wants to be in the action of a pit crew, the opportunities are endless for those willing to give this ever-changing industry a shot.

MYTH: Lack of Ongoing Training

As an industry that is responsible for getting people safely from point A to point B, there will always be room for continuing education – and our study found that 67 percent of current automotive technicians want more training. While the desire to learn is there, this stat could be a cause to the belief that there aren’t more opportunities for training.

MYTH BUSTED: Whether it’s a mentorship program to help train new hires, hands on training in the work place, high school classes that teach students about this trade or a technical institute that offers formal education and certifications, the option for training and education is easily accessible and at the fingertips of all automotive technicians (current and future).

MYTH: Lack of Skills

Automotive technicians are frequently thought of as uneducated “grease monkeys,” but this worn-out picture couldn’t be further from the truth.

MYTH BUSTED: Vehicles are increasingly complex machines, equipped with over 100 million lines of code and thousands of parts. As cars grow more complicated than even jet planes, technicians must grow right alongside them and maintain the skills of their trade to keep us all safe on the road.

MYTH: Low Job Satisfaction

Many people think that the technicians that service their cars are bored with the assumed monotony of working under a hood.

MYTH BUSTED: Our study found that job satisfaction throughout the industry is high and something to be praised. While we did identify ways to increase satisfaction through things like additional training and increased pay, it turns out that those who did choose to join their family business or pursue a career out of tinkering are happy with their decision.

By debunking these myths and many others, we at Interstate want to help change common misunderstandings about professionals in the automotive industry, and we want to bring awareness to the many opportunities available to automotive technicians.

Let us know how we can help shift the myth in the comments below, or on social media with #ShiftTheMyth.

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Topics: Shifting the Myth, Interstate Batteries, TechForce Foundation Partners

Tom Gray, Director of Marketing Interstate Batteries

Written by Tom Gray, Director of Marketing Interstate Batteries

Tom Gray is Vice President of Marketing for Interstate Batteries. He currently serves as a member of TechForce Foundation’s Board of Directors.