Technical fouls: Finding, paying, training and keeping techs
David Milne, with the Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC), says today’s techs are facing a unique challenge rarely seen before.
“We are currently training technicians for jobs that we don’t know what they’ll be like,” he says, adding that the continual evolution of on-board computers has pushed available training to its limits. “Throughout (the technicians’) careers, probably every component on that truck is going to have an electrical tie in with it.”
“What is a vehicle now,” Tom Kotteno with Snap-on Nexiq asks. “It is a group of computers; a group of sensors.”
Darry Stuart, President and CEO of DWS Fleet Management Services, says that while technicians’ skills can vary, one asset is a must.
“They need a CDL,” he says. “That’s number one. If for nothing else, that training gives them some basic awareness and basic repair skills.”
After techs have gone through proper basic training and certification programs, they’re ready to hit the job market.
However, Stuart says potential employers need to understand what the recent graduates are looking for.
“They need benefits at a reasonable rate,” he says. “They want holidays off equal to the office staff. They want weekends off and overtime pay.”
Stuart says shops with the lowest tech turnover rates have an effective mix of base pay and pay for going the extra mile.
He also suggests digging deeper into your wallet to find and keep top technicians – to the tune of $1 to $5 more per hour over industry averages of $24-$28 per hour. He also suggests offering pay incentives for employees who obtain additional certifications.
“Profit isn’t going to come from the outside,” he says. “It will come from the inside in efficiencies.”