We all know the feeling. You get in your car, turn the key and nothing happens. That's when most of us reach for the phone to call our mechanic. But what if there was no mechanic to call? Well this may just be the case in the future thanks to a serious shortage of skilled mechanics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for skilled auto mechanics continues to increase while student's interest in entering the field wanes.
Jon Griesbach, President of Griesbach Auto Service in Weston, says he's seen a significant drop in qualified technicians within the last ten to fifteen years.
The reason, he believes, is that students just don't realize what the automotive industry has to offer.
"They can go as far as they want to. It will take them into management, maybe owning their own business. You can go into sales. You can go into designing the cars. There are so many options available for our students," Matt Klug, an automotive instructor at Northcentral Technical College told NewsChannel 7.
Given the various ways students can use their training, technicians today need to know much more than just how to change oil. While mechanical skill is still required, they also need to be electronic and computer savvy.
That's why students in the auto technician program at Northcentral Technical College are busy getting hands on experience. All while most college students are still working to finish their core classes.
Students who finish the program have a very good chance of finding work. Because, as Griesbach pointed out, the horse and buggy are not making a comeback anytime soon.
In addition to almost guaranteed job placement, the average starting wage for a mechanic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is about $35,790. All the more reason technicians and teachers alike are encouraging students to check out this field.