DETROIT — Auto technicians working at car dealerships aren't particularly satisfied with their jobs.
According to a recent Carlisle & Co. survey of automotive technicians, just 27% of respondents said they were satisfied with their jobs. For comparison, about 45% of service managers and 47% of service advisers expressed satisfaction in Carlisle's most recent surveys.
In addition, slightly more than one-third of techs said they expect to leave their brand in the next year or two. An overwhelming number would not recommend the job to a friend.
Other survey highlights:
- Not getting paid or getting paid insufficiently for diagnostic work, which technicians said represents about 25% of their total working hours.
- Dealers not stocking enough specialty tools and poor tool-inventory management. Less than a quarter of respondents report their dealerships conduct frequent inventories to replace missing tools.
- Not getting paid for multi-point inspections, which techs said they spend a fair amount of time conducting, unless those inspections turn into incremental customer pay business.
During the pandemic, more than half of survey respondents experienced reduced hours, while a quarter reported being furloughed or temporarily laid off.
Only about four of 10 technicians are satisfied with some key features of their dealership's coronavirus protocol, such as providing safety equipment and enacting safety measures among employees. Fifteen percent of respondents said their dealership did not provide essential safety items, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
Hope on the horizon
About a third of the respondents are looking forward to working on electric vehicles. That's noteworthy given the overall unhappiness among technicians. But only 14% say they've received a "significant" amount of training on EVs.