Fleet Techs Rank Among Most Difficult Positions to Fill

June 02, 2016

Graph via Center for State and Local Government Excellence.
Graph via Center for State and Local Government Excellence.

Recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, succession planning, and staff development rank as the top challenges for state and local governments for the second year in a row, according to a recently released survey.

The Center of State & Local Government Excellence published its State and Local Government Workforce: 2016 Trends, which details findings from a survey sent out to two public personnel associations.

Retirements and employee resignations were higher in 2015 than 2014 (40% higher resignations and 54% higher retirements than 2014), the survey found. Among the most difficult positions to fill are mechanics and skilled trades, respondents reported.

What’s not helping public agencies is the change in retirement plans they’re offering new hires: the highest number of those reporting any changes said they increased employee contributions to pension plans (16% compared to 6% reporting increased employer contribution), and 10% said they increased pension eligibility requirements. For current employees, 13% of respondents said they increased employee contributions to pension plans.

Public agencies have also shifted more health care costs to employees, with 40% of respondents reporting they had done this.

Still, the majority of public agencies (61%) said they believe total wage compensation is competitive, and 85% believe benefits compensation is competitive with the labor market. Hiring by public agencies has gradually increased since 2013.


  1. 1. Rick Perron [ June 10, 2016 @ 09:06AM ]

    I have been in this industry coming up on 30 years now. Started in a tire shop, went to vo-tech, got into dealerships and almost 5 years into a public works garage. I see this trend continuing and at a more rapid pace. The knowledge across many aspects of diagnosis and different types of repairs are getting much more complicated. With air bags, emission systems, electronic controls, schooling and lack of information on new vehicles the pay scale doesn't seem to match the job. This doesn't include the physical demands on the body. Shop rates in my area are 135.00 per hour. Tech pay under 30 per hour not including benefits. I want out also.

  2. 2. Will O'Crotty [ June 10, 2016 @ 10:04AM ]

    I am beginning my 51st year in the Auto Service Industry. I advise any /all young people who want to enter this field to stay away ! There is no future to this. In all discussions regarding technician retention everyone skirts the BIG Reason no one stays around; Flat Rate ! An outmoded form of compensation which has its roots in Sales. The degree of education needed for entry level technicians rival that of a 4 year college degree from a Major University. And continual study & research are required to repair a constantly changing fleet of sophisticated automobiles. For the amount of time & energy one has to invest you could become an Engineer in mechanics, electronics, architecture, etc. and have your nights & weekends free to spend with family. The general public still look down their noses at us thinking we love to get grease under our fingernails, that we pad labor charges, intentionally damage their vehicles or steal the contents of their glove boxes. I spent 10 years in Dealerships, taught for three years, owned my shop for twenty years & am now in Fleet mgt. All the while trying to improve our image. And yet when polls are taken of the least trustworthy folks , discounting politicians, our industry always is in the top three with lawyers & used car salesman rounding out the pack. But without us, the techs who really know how to " fix a car ", you'd all be walking.


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