The shortage of mechanics is growing daily. Call outs are growing for an overhaul to the recruiting process for our industry. Now is the time for a good mechanic to become a shop owner.

“The technician shortage is going to get catastrophically worse,” Doug White, VP of maintenance for national armored car fleet Dunbar Armored and the newly installed general chairman of the Technology & Maintenance Council, (TMC). Leaving the current situation of time as a great time for a good mechanic to become a shop owner.

The main problem is generational. It is affecting the U.S. workforce as a whole, with 77 million “baby boomers” retiring over the next two decades (most mechanics in the next 10 years), and only 46 million new workers set to replace them, according to numbers tracked by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Major changes need to happen. Now is the time for a good mechanic to become a shop owner. The archaic pay structure for mechanics does not give them a fighting chance to live and support a family, there needs to be more recruiting in the schools; we need to get in front of good mechanics now! By the time they hit high school and even a couple years later they are gone forever from the likely hood of our industry or becoming a shop owner.

Finding and keeping mechanics is one of the industry’s biggest challenges today due to the lack of pay and cost of tools that’s why we are seeing more good mechanics become shop owners at a mobile level startup.

Mechanics with their training needs are of the utmost importance for this industry; that includes looking at everything from pay and benefits to working conditions. Vehicles are becoming more sophisticated daily.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the trucking industry alone will need to recruit 67,000 new technicians by 2022 just to meet demand and replace retirees – a number not including the more than 75,000 new diesel engine specialists the agency anticipates will also be needed six years from now. Finding, training, and keeping mechanics right now – whose skill set requirements are becoming more intricate due to the growing complexity of today’s vehicles is huge.

We as an industry need to stand up for ourselves as no one else is going to do it for us. We need to take control of the industry as mechanics, we need good mechanic to become a shop owner so they can make the pay they deserve for their skills and knowledge.