Although great news for citizens, as they are able to generate income to support themselves and their families, the auto collision repair industry is facing challenges in finding and retaining good collision repair technicians. Like other shops in our industry, Mission Viejo Auto collision is experiencing similar obstacles as we look to expand and fill opened positions.
Younger Generations Feel Trade Skills Do Not Make A Career
As the experienced, older technicians are retiring, the industry needs to prepare younger generations for building a career in the trades, including auto collision repair. What we are seeing though is that younger people do not consider this a job that would produce significant income for a sustainable lifestyle. Thus, they are disinterested in making careers out of collision repair and other trades.
Contributing factors to this dilemma are that high schools influence students into professional careers as opposed to the trades, implying it is not as lucrative a career. In actuality, seasoned auto collision repair technicians can bring home six figure incomes. Future technicians can get paid on the job training as an apprentice without the high cost of student loans for professional career training.
As a result, there should be more emphasis on trade skills development in high schools. Trade schools and body shops should promote programs and recruit the younger generation into auto collision repair technician careers.
Is Training New Technicians A Cost Or An Investment
There are various costs for a body shop when training inexperienced technicians. These costs are resources, time and personality conflicts, which all equate to a financial price tag.
Resources required to train these technicians could come from paid training courses or in house senior technicians willing to serve as mentors. Finding the right person for the mentoring role can be challenging, as the individual needs to be a good leader that can lead by example, seasoned in their specialty and are patient. To encourage participation, advise mentors that this helps develop their leadership and teamwork skills to prepare them for future promotions in the company.
With any type of training, time is necessary to get these apprentices up to speed so that they can contribute as soon as possible. It is important to define training guidelines and timelines with tests to see how well they progress throughout the probationary training period. After successful completion of the training program, reward technicians with certifications to start their new career, then bring them on as an employee with benefits and insurance.
The Mission Viejo Auto Collision Philosophy
Of course, personality differences can make or break a team. At Mission Viejo Auto Collision, we foster a team environment and seek candidates that are interested in this structure. The unity of our team is one of the many reasons for our success as we develop leaders, team spirit to support one another, accountability, technical skills, ethics and morals which are applicable to their personal lives. Our goal is to teach our team of extended families to be responsible teammates at work, role models at home and upstanding citizens in the community while creating a career to support their own families.
Regardless of whether or not a person has the technical experience, we welcome Orange County residents with desire, drive and the positive attitude to develop a career in auto collision repair as we continue our growth. We have tech and customer service positions in our shop, so call (949) 951-7503 for more information.
Whether or not the price tag in training a body shop technician is a cost or an investment is dependent on the outcome. If the individual successfully completes the training process and remains with the shop to develop a career, then it is an “Investment”. If the trainee cannot make it through the training, does not have the right attitude, or leaves after training to get a higher paying position, then the training is a “Cost” to the shop. So interview wisely to minimize your cost and maximize your investment!