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Shortage of Auto Mechanics Has Dealerships Taking Action

Shortage of Auto Mechanics Has Dealerships Taking Action

More good jobs is a plus. Hope it pays handsomely.

Another BS Lincoln Tech infomercial masquerading as a news story.


I think being an auto-mechanic is an excellent choice for a career path, especially for those who have a scientific bent and an interest in physics or electronics. It’s a job that is pretty much outsource proof. There’s always a risk of in-sourcing, but that’s a risk for anyone w/a career living in America. It’s the kind of job where you can start your own business too.

Me and my old time mechanic at work keep lamenting now you need a computer to fix anything. So I load the programs, hook up mandatory internet connection via wifi, and we make a good team, but we are both like never saw the day you have to be a computer wizard to diagnose and fix a car. Then we walk through the programs together for readings etc. Had some new wave snap on thing the other day, we figured it out but a set of wrenches and screwdrivers does not mean you can fix backhoes, diesel engines etc. these days.

Very true. But that’s a good thing too. B/c the wrench screwdriver thing is a good job for younger folk, they can move on to the more technical diagnostic skills and still bring home the bacon even if they have lost some strength, flexiblity and mobility over the years.

Can’t you see that article for what it is . . . ?!

This is what it is


And that is a fact, not an opinion

The writer of that article CLEARLY was drinking the Koolaid that LIncoln Tech . . . you could actually insert the name UTI or some other for-profit school, and it wouldn’t matter . . . was serving him

I’m kind of disappointed that the NY times published that propaganda

They clearly didn’t do a very good job verifying any authenticity, and I’ll bet you guys lunch they didn’t look up any statistics, such as the percentage of young guys who quickly get out of the profession, when they show up at the dealership, only to find out they will NOT be earning that 100K any time, if ever, they need to spend thousands of dollars on tools every year, for their entire career, and they have the school debt hanging over their heads. I’ve seen it plenty of times

And I haven’t even gotten into warranty, and how it can wreak havoc with a mechanic’s potential earnings . . .

I’m kind of surprised at you, Troll

You’re not a newbie on this website, and you’ve heard us talking about the industry plenty of times. And you believe this “journalist” over us

tsk tsk :unamused:

They’ve been talking about this mechanic shortage for years, at least 20 years, that I know of. And it’s not getting easier to earn money, probably the opposite. A lot of factors contribute to this. If this shortage is real or not, I don’t know. But if it’s real, you’d think they would treat the guys better, instead of stepping on them. But there’s always another young guy or a some gullible “journalist” who’ll drink the coolaid and believe whatever Lincoln Tech or UTI is saying, for example. So when one guy wises up and changes careers, retires, goes into the public sector, etc. there’s plenty of guys to replace him, and they’ll eagerly work for peanuts


I’m tempted to mark that “article” as spam

It has no credibility, IMO

Make that STRONG opinion

Please explain why I shouldn’t mark it as spam

Sorry to say but the NYT has been going down hill for years. It’s not surprising at all that their staff would come up with junk articles. I will say though that in the past 10-15 years, vo-tecs have gone more to soft subjects like accounting and hotel management instead of the old CNC, industrial, and building subjects. They are starting to turn around again but its a slow process. High schools too have done the same thing but are seeing the need to continue on with automotive and shop classes. Not as many kids coming in off the farm either where mechanical skills were a daily requirement.

The school leadership at the top totally missed the market so there are many companies that just can’t find qualified employees and the jobs go begging.

I didn’t post this article because it was true. I posted it because the New York Times published it, to draw informed attention to it and stimulate critical discussion. I’m an outsider to the auto mechanic business, doing all my own repairs (amateurishly in practice, though I eventually get the right result; if I accounted minimum wage for all my labor, it would have been cheaper to hire a professional.) It’s about what passes for journalism about auto mechanics, not auto mechanics.

There’s no shortage of any kind of labor in the US. There may be a surplus of foreigners, from physicians and scientists and engineers to farm laborers and construction workers and home health aides, who’ll increase the supply which will allow employers to bid down the wages they’ll pay, but some wage and working condition will always get an American to do the job - or automate it or export it. All those articles that tout the qualifications of some brilliant Chinese or Indian, or that no American will pick vegetables or haul our parents’ slops, tell us about journalism, not the job market.

In response to the restriction on immigration from predominantly-Muslim countries, medical journals published sympathetic articles about all the foreign physicians. I pointed out all the articles about America (and UK and Canada and France…) poaching physicians from these same countries - they didn’t publish my letter, or a similar one from a ‘qualified’ (I’m not a physician.) writer.

While I’ll stop short of comdemning the NYT for making a news story to suit an advertiser I will opine that there is an outrageously wide gap and lack of respect between educated intellectuals and talented technicians. And I suspect that the educated intellectuals are easily conned by the peddlers of pie in the sky technical diplomas.

There are opportunities for earning a good living and being highly respected and appreciated as a mechanic but like so many professions a great deal of tallent and effort is required. Here in Mayberry II there is a shortage of qualified mechanics but at the same time most shops can’t or won’t pay their mechanics what they are worth. The dealerships here continue to pay mechanics on the same flat rate that they have for more than 10 years despite increasing their billing rate more than 30% in the mean time.

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I would bet you that if you could dig behind the scenes at the NYT you would find that Lincoln Tech paid the NYT for running that advertisement…

A genuine news article written by a genuine journalist it is not. Maybe this 'journalist" is on the marketing staff at Lincoln Tech…

This same story has been run repeatedly in the past with the only difference being the name of the institution paying the tab for running it. That would mean UTI, WyoTech, or what have you.

And the NYT is not alone. They do the same thing on TV with 1/2 hour infomercials almost word for word.

Hi. I tend to think of spam is articles or links posted here in order to juice traffic or business for the linked entity. I know RandomTroll wasn’t here to find recruits for UTI or Lincoln Tech. To my uninitiated eyes it was a little too friendly to Lincoln, and perhaps the author didn’t do much research on job prospects for the industry, but I don’t think I would concur with a spam flag on this one.

My opinion is that when employers claim a big shortage of workers in any industry whether it is airline pilots, truck drivers, mechanics, carpenters, roofers or what have you, what they are really complaining about the shortage of people that can do the job and are willing to work for a wage that won’t support a family. Raise the wage enough and the workers would be coming out of the woodwork.


The nation that respects its philosophers but not its plumbers has poor plumbing and poor philosophy.

[quote=“oldtimer_11, post:14, topic:103380, full:true”]
… when employers claim a big shortage of workers… what they are really complaining about the shortage of people that can do the job and are willing to work for a wage that won’t support a family. [/quote]
They’re lobbying for someone else (either prospective employees or the government) to pay for the training (or admit immigrants) to provide them so many applicants they don’t have to meet wage demands. If Mr @db4690 has the correct story (I’m willing to believe him.) then the story in the NYT is another example of effectively-placed propaganda meant to increase the pool of available labor to keep auto mechanics’ wages down.

That the share of income going to the bottom 90% has decreased over the last 30 years (that’s all the data I had on hand when I analyzed it; others put it at 40-45 years) while the share going to the top 5% has increased dramatically (the next 5% has been about flat) is consistent with labor’s ability to demand a share of increased earning having weakened.

A teacher shortage is rapidly developing. Pay somewhat but unruly students also. Also an MD shortage particularly in rural areas. Just aren’t enough med schools. Yes you can make more in the cities but the MDs just don’t like being in the middle of no where. Sometimes pay, sometimes working conditions, sometimes its where the work is, and sometimes the schools just aren’t producing enough for the demand. My first banking job I turned down was in a town of 200 on the prairie, 30 miles from a larger city, AND I had to live there and not commute, with my new wife, and she had to work there too. Nothing to do with money. It was location, location, location.

Please clarify that . . .

There are plenty of immigrants who are mechanics in this country

And some of them were trained here

as for "the correct story’ . . . you’ll just have to believe me or not

I’m not going to scour the internet looking for articles telling the correct story about the auto industry and mechanic wages

But I am telling you as a longtime mechanic . . . that NYT article is pure propaganda and this :poop:

There are a few guys that can make the kind of money that was mentioned, while working at a dealership. But MANY things have to occur, for that to be a reality. Basically, the stars have to be aligned :star:

The reality is that most dealership mechanics won’t earn that kind of money, even if they work hard and fast, come in early and stay late. There are too many factors, which all but insure it won’t happen. And we’ve gone round and round about this, we know what they are.


The article that I read mentions BMW training and show pictures of the training center, mentions Fiat-Chrysler, Seminole State Collage and Lincoln.

Manufactures have been offering training to individuals for many years in an effort to supply the dealers with trained technicians.

The dealers are loosing senior technicians each year and replacing them with $15 per hour entry level techs to perform the same tasks. The repair quality from a first year tech is poor but to the dealer the labor expense ratio is better.

How can a manufacture improve the quality of the repairs at dealers? There have been training requirements in place for 20 years, dealers have learned to get around this to save money. Manufactures have deep pockets and can afford to train people, the internship gets these students placed at dealers.

There’s a wage that will make it disappear. NYC solved its ‘shortage’ of teachers in the '90s by raising pay.

This is a parental choice that may require higher pay.

America has a larger fraction of physicians than most other nations. Because it’s private enterprise physicians work where they want, which may disproportionately be big cities, which pay better and are likelier to offer the sort of culture they want to live in. In other countries governments manage affairs to place physicians and hospitals in less-attractive areas. In a free-enterprise system ‘enough’ physicians would have to be a surplus large enough to make them choose to live in Dog Biscuit, WY (not that it isn’t a fine place; I’ve lived in towns too small to have a physician, a long drive from the closest)

I didn’t disparage them, just the opposite: if they can work here they’re at least as good, probably better. That’s the case with many scientists and engineers. A larger pool of available workers will bid down the wages they can bargain for, whether they’re native or foreign-born. The admission of some foreign workers is a matter of public policy: H#B visas and immigration (non)enforcement.

Without data you just have an opinion.

I didn’t know you were a mechanic, or longtime. That makes your personal testimony more valuable.

I didn’t post this story because it’s the ‘truth’, but to stimulate a discussion that would illuminate the topic. My preconception is what you say it is - which doesn’t make it right.

It’s not just the mechanic shortage. Every industry says the same thing. Manufacturing shortage. Chef shortage. Teacher shortage.

And it’s all for the same reason you stated - they’re looking to create a worker glut so that they don’t have to pay much.

I always like it when I talk to a factory owner who’s whining that he can’t get qualified workers. “What’s your starting pay?” “Nine bucks an hour!” Gee, think that might be it?

But rather than raise compensation to a living wage, they’d rather create a giant pool of desperate, unemployed people who have a lot invested in going into manufacturing, because at least a few of them will be a big enough sucker to roll over and take the laughable pay.