OEM Training, Auto Body Tech Compensation and the Tech Shortage

OEM Training, Tech Compensation and the Tech Shortage

Where do you see the industry heading as far as OEM training is concerned, especially with all the consolidation going on?

Reader’s Choice 2022

“Where do you see the industry heading as far as OEM training is concerned, especially with all the consolidation going on? Also, what are the biggest challenges in repairing high-tech vehicles? Why are we so underpaid compared to mechanics when we know as much (and sometimes more) than they do? And finally, what is the solution to finding and keeping techs?” — Valentin Rosas, body technician, Faith Quality Auto Body, Murrieta, Calif.

Valentin Rosas

Regarding original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certification, I think collision repairers who get the training are going to be set up for success in the future because, with the tech shortage, they’ll be able make way more money or the insurers will be totaling too many cars.

As far as vehicle technology goes, the biggest problems come when techs don’t know the proper repair procedures because they’ve never fixed one before. Even when they use ALLDATA, they still need to learn as they go. Most people don’t like struggling with something blindly.

To answer your question, “Why are we so underpaid compared to mechanics when we know as much (and sometimes more) than they do,” I believe our industry is caught in a time warp in the present moment but believe we’ll catch up to the mechanical side some day. I feel that vehicles will require so much more training and equipment that a major adjustment is coming. It’s not as simple as shops simply raising their labor rates because, with all of the consolidation going on, we’re somewhat at the mercy of consolidators, as their rates are controlling our industry. It will take a collective effort, and our industry is too fragmented to get together. Plus, we’re bound by law not to collectively discuss labor rates.

The tech shortage is having the biggest impact on the collision repair business today, and my plan is to give employees the opportunity to learn while I pay for the training. But the tech shortage is real, so after we train someone, the trick is to keep him or her — and how to do that is the million-dollar question. I really don’t have a solid answer yet; we’ll have to wait and see.

You May Also Like

Three Generations Keep Trains Running on Time at CARSTAR Jacobus

CARSTAR Jacobus Founder Jerry Jacobus and son Dave share a passion for collision repair and also model railroading.

When Dave Jacobus’ father opened his automobile repair shop in Vancouver, Wash., in 1976, he never dreamed that his son and grandson would still be running it nearly 50 years later. But everything is on track for CARSTAR Jacobus as they plan for a new greenfield location and stoke the engines for Jacobus’ son, Justin, to keep the trains running on time into the next half-century.

Auto Body Repair: The Right Way, the Wrong Way and Another Way

In a perfect world, every repairer would make the right decisions in every repair, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

The Digital Blitz

We talk so much about how much collision repair is changing, but so is the world of media!

Auto Body Shops: Building a Foundation for the New Year

For the new year, it’s important to conduct a thorough audit of your finances to look for areas of opportunity and things to change.

Auto Body Consolidation Update: There’s a New Buyer in Town

The good news for shops that want to sell but do not fit a consolidator’s
profile is that there is a fresh pool of new buyers.

Other Posts

Taking on the Auto Body Tech Shortage

I-CAR’s new digital marketing campaign promotes to young people the abundant career opportunities available in collision.

Is Your Auto Body Shop a Hobby … or a Business?

So you want to provide safe and properly repair vehicles to your customers … even at a financial loss?

Toyota Announces New Certified Collision Center

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. has announced Walker Toyota in Miamisburg, Ohio, as its newest Toyota Certified Collision Center.

BodyShop Business 2023 Executives of the Year

Greg Solesbee was named the Single-Shop Executive of the Year, and Charlie Drake was named the Multi-Shop Executive of the Year.