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Auto shops struggling to find trained mechanics amid national shortage: ‘It’s really getting scary’

If you need to take your car into the shop, the work could take longer than usual.

That’s because there’s a nationwide shortage of auto mechanics, which is causing a backlog in repairs.

Seasoned mechanics are retiring at an increased rate posing a challenge for shops attempting to fill vacant positions.

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“It’s been tough, especially since the pandemic,” said Emily’s Garage Manager Nolan Bailey.

There's a nationwide shortage of auto mechanics

Auto shops are dealing with a nationwide shortage of trained auto mechanics. (Fox News)

Emily’s Garage just had an opening for a new auto technician. It took them a lot longer than it used to, to find the right fit.

“Usually, you could put out an application,” Bailey said. “And when people are work hungry, you’d get 20.30 applicants maybe in a week or two. In this case, we got maybe four or five applicants over the course of two months.”

There's just over half of the number of trained mechanics needed each year

There’s barely over half the number of trained mechanics to fill 76,000 open positions every year. (Fox News)

According to the National Automobile Dealer Association, around 76,000 auto mechanic positions open up each year compared to the only 39,000 workers are coming out of technical colleges or training programs.

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“We’re starting to see a lot of the old timers time out of this repair industry. And it’s really getting scary for our community,” said Scott Benavidez with the Automotive Service Industry.

Emily's Garage raised their wages to find mechanics

Emily’s Garage increased their wages to remain competitive and bring in workers (Fox News / Fox News)

Emily’s Garage has had to increase wages to attract candidates.

“We had to get pretty competitive with pricing,” Bailey said. “We pay our guys very fairly.”

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Another issue plaguing the industry according to Benavidez is the amount of high school offering students the ability to explore the field.

“We’ve lost that communication, probably in the late 90s or early 2000s, with the high schools and their programs,” Benavidez said. “And we’re looking to get that back, but it’s going to be a slow process.”

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If the shortage keeps getting worse, getting cars fixed will cause consumers to suffer in their pockets and experience longer wait times for repairs.