Demand for Auto Mechanics May Increase With Surge in Vehicle Repairs
By CityTownInfo.com Staff February 19, 2009
As car sales slump across the country, auto mechanics are reporting an increase in repairs as customers endeavor to fix and maintain their vehicles.
The Roseville Press-Tribune in California reports that local garages and dealerships are noticing a surge in service for high-mileage vehicles.
"Yes, we've seen quite an increase," noted David Brown, owner of Auburn 76 Auto Center, in an interview with the Press-Tribune. "People are keeping their cars longer and not buying new ones."
Garages are seeing two extremes: Vehicles being brought in for regular maintenance in an effort to ensure their longevity, or vehicles being brought in for service only when absolutely necessary.
"Because of the economy, there are a lot of people struggling right now," John Martin, owner of Strictly Toy-ondas in Auburn, Calfornia, told the Tribune. "I don't think they can afford it. We're doing a lot of repair work-get it back together, make it run."
Jerry Kawatki, owner of Hopson Auto Repair in Wisconsin, told The Freeman that he has also noticed an increased demand for major repairs. Overall, he said, business has increased about 10 percent, although he acknowledges that it's not as busy as about five years ago.
In a nod to the trend, Rhonda Groves, dean of the school of technology at Ivy Tech in Kokomo, Indiana, predicted that enrollment would significantly increase in the school's automotive program. The school offers two degrees and four certificates for students interested in entering the field.
Indiana's Chronicle-Tribune notes that Groves expected the profession to be on the top 50 jobs list compiled by the Department of Workforce Development by 2010. The Chronicle-Tribune also points out that new environmental standards may also trigger a greater demand for auto mechanics.
In a related story, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver reports that service managers at local dealerships said demand for auto technicians will remain steady and possibly rise during the economic turndown.
Jerry Viola, director of Arapahoe Community College 's auto technician program, told the Rocky Mountain News that he expects that the automotive industry will hire more female technicians and workers with college degrees to keep up with technological advances.
"We're moving away from backyard mechanics.." Viola noted, "to needing employees who are at the top of their game-technically versed, mechanically adept and well rounded."