It’s going to take decades from now for there to see any reduction in Mechanics workforce.
All true, but any 14 year old needs to be looking to the future.
I replace spark plugs once a month, with 120,000 mile intervals this maintenance has become far and few between. It has been more than ten years since I had to replace a head gasket or fuel injector, with the exception of my neighbors old Sentra, he drove the vehicle without coolant.
Today I had two 2016 vehicles for HVAC failures, these owners were not ready to dump their cars.
One needed only a software update, front brakes and two tires. Owner pasted on the needed repairs.
The second needed a servo motor replacement, 7.5 hours of labor. This customer paid to replace the rear tires.
Engine repairs can be time consuming, I won’t miss that. There are many common repairs that pass through the shop each day and are more common than engine repair; power windows, power door locks, power liftgate, HVAC, suspension, steering, lighting, wipers, interior, etc.
Now add safety systems; multimeter radar for auto braking and cruise control. Front recognition cameras, blind spot monitors.
Can’t you change your own oil? I really don’t have time.
It could have been an ad, it there is truth in that advertising. It even outsells the Chevrolet and GMC pickups combined. A few years ago the GM combo sold more.
Time consuming = work. I won’t miss having to mess with engines either, but that’s beside the point. Today’s mechanic spends a lot of time repairing things that don’t exist in electric cars. Again, I never said that mechanics would be eliminated. But if “time consuming” work disappears, then we won’t need as many mechanics to cover the remaining available work.
And we’re talking about high school freshmen here. No, electric cars aren’t going to start reducing the number of mechanics we need immediately. But 30-40 years from now, when today’s freshman is upper-middle-aged and facing age discrimination when trying to change careers? That’s something that needs to be considered.
Along with that is diagnosis. With fully electronic vehicles…most diagnosis will be computer diagnosis systems. Far easier to diagnosis then an ICE engine. Example - Engine Misfire. There are many different causes for this. Have to start eliminating them one by one. Or Overheating…Again several problems here.
At some point, I believe the sale of new ICE vehicles will be prohibited. I also believe the government will institute a program similar to cash for clunkers to get existing ICE vehicles off the road.
Wouldn’t surprise me either. Not that I’d be particularly happy living in a country that bans the production of gas engines, myself.
I doubt it. As EV vehicles become more prevalent then gas stations will become less and less prevalent. People with ICE vehicles will find it more and more difficult to buy gas. Manufacturers will build more and more EV’s and less and less ICE vehicles. When it gets to the point of 90% EV’s and 10% ICE vehicles on the road there probably won’t even be a need for more efficient ICE vehicles. Eventually ICE vehicles will die out just like the original Electric vehicles of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s did.
Take any and all auto shop classes available at your high school (Jr. high as well, if offered). Think about getting a summer job at a car repair shop (dealer or private). It will be a menial job like sweeping floors and emptying trash, but you’ll have a chance to interact with mechanics who may show you some things or teach you minor mechanical tasks. Do internet research for trade schools such as UTI to see what classes are offered, whether or not there is tuition and/or placement assistance. If there is a local race track (drag, oval or road) try to spend some time in the pit area.
Easier said than done, in some cases. At the HS where I was on the faculty, we had an auto shop for many years, but when space for a “fitness center” was needed, the auto shop had to go. At least we still had wood shop, drafting, and graphics (print shop) at the time of my retirement, but for all I know one or more of them may have fallen by the wayside by this time.
All my kids went to private college prep schools. They didn’t offer shop classes.
In my NJ township, 96.9% of the graduates of the two high schools went on to four year colleges, thus there is no desire for auto shop courses, and none are offered.
Auto shop’s still offered where I went to high school along with other shop classes, don’t know if their space was upgraded during the recent major remodel since they were in the circa 60’s building when I graduated in 1994. The school district bought the building where a former health club was located basically next door to use as a fitness center while they remodeled.
I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times. Tech is sexy (and less grimy) and generally pays pretty well. But I keep hearing about all the new driving and mechanical employees that are going to be needed in the future and wonder where they’re going to come from. Maybe when cars break down and there’s no one to fix them and when grocery stores run low on food and there’s nobody to drive the resupply trucks…
Leads me to think, if age 14 now, in ten years at age 24, the majority of vehicles on the road will be electric. Learn electronics, electrical theory, battery technology, as well as the mechanics: steering, tires, brakes, alignment. Those will still be on the vehicles. Be a “cross-over” tech, one who can handle everything. My own mechanic in 2006, when I asked him about my buying a Prius, said he would be concerned about the amount I would save on gas versus the premium I would pay for two drive systems. I said: I worried less about cost, more about not polluting. Turns out I have saved at least the extra purchase cost in reduced fuel cost, and he has trained all his techs and revamped his shop to handle the number of hybrids rolling in the door. He has no shortage of work for his techs, half of whom are female.
computer skills? That is a given and old school thinking.
As in coding, as in the control systems in cars, as in everything that might be related to their interests. Not talking Word/Excel, that’s a given. The point is to learn about what will be needed 10 years from now.
Very interesting and useful advice both from the general and career focused perspective.
Distill this down and you’d have an excellent “First Day of High School” talk for students and parents.
What I’m seeing from these comments is a “blending” between the traditional Trade and College paths.
1 Change is Coming - We don’t know when, how or what the final shape will be but it’s definitely coming.
2.Computer and Math skills will be a given.
3 Mechanical skills will be a given.
4.Continuing Education / Training will be a given so learning how to learn is important.
5 And the “Old School” attributes of initiative, perseverance, financial management, finding what you love and the willingness to take a risk, fail and try again still apply.
From what I’m seeing, the old choice of Vo-Tech or College is becoming a thing of the past with the outcome dependent on the individual’s “desires, skills and motivation”.
i.e. If you want an automotive career, with the same attributes you can probably achieve the same degree of opportunity and career satisfaction whether you go Vo-Tech or College Automotive Engineering but “you ain’t gonna do squat sitting on your butt”.
I don’t believe most vehicles on the road in 10 years will be electric - most analysts don’t even predict that EVs will outsell ICEs within 10 years, and remember the average age of the vehicles on the road in the U.S. is over 11 years. It’ll take a long time for EV adoption to become that mainstream, and even longer to replace the existing gas/diesel vehicles.