AutoNation embarks on hiring spree amid technician shortage

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American auto retailer AutoNation is embarking on a hiring spree as the sector faces significant labor shortage.

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AutoNation said it plans to recruit and hire more than 500 service technicians to work at its service and collision centers.

“There is a tremendous career path for automotive service technicians as the rapid pace of advancements in vehicle technology continues,” Scott Arnold, Executive vice president of customer care and brand extensions at AutoNation, said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for tech school grads, men, women, veterans, those just out of the military and anyone who is willing to invest in the training in order to make a career change."

The National Automobile Dealers Assocation (NADA) referred to the technician shortage as a “crisis.” The group said that to simply keep pace with retirements in the industry, it would have to hire 76,000 technicians per year. However, colleges and training programs only graduate about 37,000 new technicians each year – producing a shortage of nearly 40,000 trained prospects.

Unless the situation is rectified, down the road Americans could be faced with higher prices and “significant wait times,” the group said.

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According to job search website Indeed, an AutoNation service technician makes an average salary of $19.80 per hour. That figure is based on eight salaries reported by users.

According to the NADA, the average dealership technician earns $61,067, plus benefits. Experienced technicians can earn six-figure salaries, while service managers typically make even more.

AutoNation has more than 300 locations from coast to coast. Its website lists 818 service technician job openings. The company offers a "competitive compensation package, free technical training, performance incentives and a clear career path with ample opportunity for advancement."

The company offers apprenticeships as a precursor to certain technician positions.

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The auto industry is just one of many experiencing a critical labor shortage. Electricians are also in high demand, as one expert projects the industry will have a shortage of about 60,000 workers by 2026.

The trucking industry and construction industries are also in need of qualified workers. Both of these sectors have raised wages in order to attract and retain talent.

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