There has been a shortage of diesel technicians in recent years and steps have to be taken to ensure that there will be enough to fill the needs of the trucking industry now and in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the industry will require 67,000 new technicians by 2022 but the number of diesel technicians will only be growing by 5%.
Here at Kenworth Sales Company, we acknowledge the concern and we’re taking steps to lessen the shortage.
What is a Diesel Technician?
According to the Department of Labor, diesel technicians inspect, repair, and overhaul buses, trucks, or any vehicle with a diesel engine. They are the ones who make sure the huge trucks operating on the roads run smoothly and without issues. This is a job that requires a lot of training and on hand knowledge, but can be largely rewarded monetarily.
Why is There a Shortage?
There are several factors that caused the current shortage of diesel technicians in recent years, but one of the biggest reasons is the amount of work that goes into earning the title. Diesel Technicians not only have to spend years as a journey level technician, but also a lot of employers require a professional certification. The amount of time and work that goes into this certification is staggering and they are amongst the hardest working in the industry. A lot of the younger work force is being told to get a 4-year degree, which certainly seems to sound much more appealing than a skilled job that takes years to train.
Industry Issues Caused by the Shortage
Because there is a shortage of technicians, they tend to move around from dealership to dealership depending on the offers. This is particularly difficult for smaller companies because some choose to work for bigger dealerships, as the larger dealership often offer more money. This is cause for concern for several companies because they are not able to service trucks needing repair and it is losing them a lot of business.
Why We Need Them Now More Than Ever
Baby boomers are retiring, and with their retirement is a huge loss of the number of diesel technicians operating in the US. This is forcing some owner-operators to purchase several trucks in case one of their trucks needs to be repaired and ends up being unusable. There are not enough people fixing or repairing the trucks which leads to overbuying, just to have spare trucks available. With the trucking industry growing, the need for technicians cannot be understated. There is a need for concrete steps to ensure that the growth of new technicians will be able to meet the demand. There needs to be a conscious effort to educate young people about the job, so more of them will want to become technicians in the future.
Kenworth Sales Company understands the need to attract more diesel technicians to the industry. In 2018, the company donated $400,000 to Salt Lake City Community College so that school can jumpstart their diesel technician program.