One attractive career idea—becoming an automotive service technician at one of America’s 16,752 new-car dealerships.
Today’s new cars last longer and are more technical than ever, which means that dealerships must rely on a well-trained, well-staffed parts and service department more than ever before.
Presently, there is a shortage of service techs in the automotive industry, leaving numerous positions available for individuals who don’t necessarily have college degrees and are looking for a secure and stable, high-earning career.
The average dealership technician in the United States today makes $61,067 in salary, plus benefits, and has great opportunities for personal growth and career advancement. Experienced technicians at franchised dealerships can make more than $100,000 annually and service managers can make even more.
Career Ideas: Making the Change
NADA’s 2019 #WomeninAutomotive video contest winner, Lisa Kowite is a great example of someone who found a fulfilling new career as a service technician. Kowite got her master’s degree in middle school education and taught English for eight years.
Burned out from teaching, Kowite enrolled in Durham Tech Automotive Systems Technology program and graduated in 2015 with an associate’s degree and “dove headfirst with no safety net into a new career as an automotive repair technician.”
Kowite started her new career at Johnson Lexus of Durham, North Carolina starting as an express service technician and moving up to a Lexus Certified Service Technician within a year. Now she is an instructor and the owner of Fired Up Automotive, an education program to help women and new drivers learn more about their vehicles and the automotive industry.
More Job Opportunities Ahead
Simply put: The service bay is where the jobs are. According to TechForce Foundation’s 2021 Supply & Demand Report, demand for technicians nearly doubled in the past year — from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021. Last year, demand outpaced supply by nearly three to one; now it is estimated to be five to one.
The good news is there are a number of ASE certified training facilities across the United States. In 2019, NADA Foundation launched its’ Workforce Initiative, which includes an interactive map of training and scholarship opportunities.