Auto mechanics

$ 10,000? Auto Mechanics Shortage Promotes Some Employers In The Mobile Region To Offer Enrollment Bonuses | Mobile County Alabama News

MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – Trained auto technicians should feel a lot like professional athletes.

Their services are so in demand that some Mobile employers are offering sign-in bonuses.

Eastern Shore Toyota, for example, offers bonuses of $ 3,000 for qualified mechanics and $ 8,000 for master technicians. These jobs earn $ 30 an hour.

Subaru of Mobile offers login bonuses starting at $ 1,000 – and up to $ 10,000. Greg Halliday, the company’s sales manager, said it could be a lucrative career. He said the best and most experienced automotive technicians can earn salaries close to or even above six figures.

“It’s a little difficult to explain why, but it has really been difficult to find qualified people who are ready to come and get started,” he told FOX10 News. “And we try to do everything we can to make it easier for them to get started. “

Halliday said it’s been a challenge for a long time, but it’s gotten worse.

“This has likely been exacerbated by the COVID issues,” he said.

Holden Brant just started working at the company this month. He was working as a telemarketer, but was looking for a career change when he moved to Mobile in June to be closer to his girlfriend, who studies at the University of South Alabama.

“I grew up around cars,” he says. “My grandfather owned a car store when I was little. And I always wanted to work on cars and the opportunity was given to me to take this job.

It is not just a local problem. The TechForce Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship provider for people seeking careers in transportation trades, predicted in a report last year that the shortage of automotive, diesel and collision by 2024 will total 642,000.

Mike Pressendo, the organization’s director of marketing and strategy, attributed the shortage to “an outdated stigma that people think this is low-tech technology, not necessarily rewarding or satisfying. which could not be further from the truth ”.

Pressendo told FOX10 News the shortage will increase due to the large number of older mechanics retiring. He said that because of technological advancements in cars, today’s auto technicians look more like the workers of Silicon Valley than the grease-stained mechanics of yesteryear.

“There is more code in a Ford F-150 truck today than in the space shuttle,” he said. “I mean, these are computers on wheels.”

Halliday said the Subaru of Mobile incentive program can take several forms. For example, new hires can get new tools for $ 1,000 because auto technicians usually have their own equipment. Or it can come in the form of cash. Workers receive the incentives in installments after being employed for a certain period of time.

Halliday said the wages start out low for new hires with no experience – hourly rates between $ 10 and $ 20. But he said the company offers on-the-job training and helps auto technicians get certifications and get continuing education.

He said login bonuses are a new strategy for finding people who “are ready to come in and roll their sleeves up, get a little dirty.”

Brant, 24, from Savannah, Ga., Who studied photography at the University of Massachusetts before working in telemarketing, said he couldn’t be happier with his career change.

“It’s kind of relaxing,” he said. “I’ve always had a natural curiosity for the way things work, mechanically. I used to take door handles apart when I was a kid; played a lot with Legos. So, I just like the complexity of the mechanical nature.

Pressendo said the area has a number of advantages. In addition to the possibility of “very, very generous pay,” he said the work offers a good work-life balance.

“Your work will not be outsourced,” he said. “You can – it’s not the kind of work you take home. Conversely, problem solving people like this kind of work, and there’s a huge variety for so many people who don’t want to be, you know, chained to a desk.

Halliday said Mobile’s Subaru is looking to hire three or four auto technicians. Toni Fassbender, chief executive of Eastern Shore Toyota, told FOX10 News in an email: “We would hire anything we could because they are so hard to find.”

Halliday said it was difficult to determine exactly why recruiting has become so difficult or what could alleviate the crisis.

“It’s a $ 64,000 question,” he said. “When you have the correct answer, let me know.” “

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