Growing Demand for Automotive Technichians

Danielle Broege, Staff Reporter

Students take advantage of CLC’s low tuition rates to get their degrees in many different fields. With the need for more technicians and the growing numbers of cars on the road, many students have gotten their associate’s degrees in automotive technology through CLC. Through these programs, students can be “job ready” after finishing their courses at CLC.

“There’s a huge demand for automotive technicians because the number of cars on the road out-strips the number of technicians available. But cars that are on the road longer break more, so there’s plenty of work out there and there are not enough technicians to do it.” Theodore Wells, Instructor of Automotive Technology said.  

The shortage of car chips is hurting many car manufacturers, both with being unable to produce new cars and with revenue. According to NBC News, an estimated $210 billion in revenue was lost in the global automotive industry in 2021.

“I don’t think we’re in a recession. To tell you the truth, I think we’re in an economic slowdown. Nevertheless in the unavailability of chips it is deterring people from buying brand new vehicles and prices have gone up because of that. The contribution to the auto industry definitely could have an effect on the economy,” Wells said. 

With technicians’ jobs ever evolving so are the faces seen in the industry. Over the years more diversity has been joining the automotive technician field. 

“Our program is becoming much more diverse. Back fifteen, twenty years ago the industry was kinda pro-dominated by white male technicians and because the population has shifted we’ve gotten a lot more diverse population of other ethnicities. Furthermore, many more women are starting to explore our field. It seems that every year we’re getting a few more female students so there’s a definite shift,” Wells said.

There’s also a change in what is being taught in the classroom. While the world around us evolves so do the jobs and how students and teachers have to learn and teach about their professions. 

“My chosen career is ever evolving. I’ve been in the automotive industry since I got out of highschool, and cars have evolved dramatically. If a technician isn’t willing to keep up with changes then they need to find a different pathway,” Wells explained.

While many things changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so did the automotive program. Covid restrictions not only affected what and how they were being taught, but the number of students joining the classes.

“Our population did decline because of the Covid issues and online teaching, and we had to reorganize our classroom structure and course offerings because of that. Consequently, our head count went down. But we are almost back right now to what it was prior to Covid, prior to 2019,” Wells said. 

For students who want to study in these fields, there are many classes that CLC offers. The courses in the field are more like ‘a package deal,’ said Wells. There is an intro to auto, and then there are eight different classes for each area of the car. To get certified you have to take a test in each field as well as have two years of working experience. Getting an associates’ at CLC is a great way to hit the ground running with a job that’s in high demand with little to no student debt and ample opportunities for growth.