The supply of new-entrant technicians from automotive post-secondary education programs in the United States dropped 11.8% to 28,866 in 2021, widening current and projected shortfalls of professionals needed to service the nation’s automotive fleet, according to the TechForce Foundation’s 2022 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report.
TechForce reports that the supply of program graduates (completions) slipped 2.6% and 0.4%, respectively, in the diesel and collision repair segments but has fallen by a combined 17% over the past five years.
The worsening technician supply picture – with combined completions dropping from 48,208 in 2020 to 44,052 in 2021 — overshadows a year-over-year rebound in technician employment in the automotive (+4.2%) and diesel (+6.5%) repair segments. Total employment of collision repair technicians dropped 0.7% percent, however, continuing a six-year decline.
TechForce estimates demand for new-entrant automotive, diesel and collision repair technicians — for new positions, replacements for occupational separations and unfilled positions from prior years — will reach 232,000 in 2022 and total well over 900,000 through 2026.