TechForce Foundation Releases 2023 Supply & Demand Report

TechForce Foundation Releases 2023 Supply & Demand Report

The 2023 report found that the technician shortage may finally be turning a corner going into 2024.

The TechForce Foundation released its “Technician Supply & Demand Report” in December, which shows that the technician shortage may finally be turning a corner going into 2024, with the first increase in all technical school completions in 10 years. You can download the report here.

“TechForce Foundation and its donors have worked tirelessly to dispel the outdated stigmas; to share the upside and advantages that a technician career offers; to show respect for techs and their vital role in keeping America moving; and helping young people who love problem-solving, technology and working with their hands to find an education and career that fits! When we see an uptick in program completions, we have faith that the hard work is paying off,” said TechForce Foundation CEO Jennifer Maher.

The report covers projections for the next five years in both the demand for new entrant technicians (needed to keep up with growth in new positions and replacement of retiring techs) and the supply of graduates being produced by postsecondary tech schools and community colleges nationwide. The automotive, collision and diesel industries have suffered from a massive gap in supply and demand, leading to a significant technician workforce shortage that has plagued the industry for decades, the foundation said.

TechForce’s 2023 Technician Supply & Demand Report shows that the technician workforce grew by 4.3% from 2021 to 2022, outpacing the overall US Labor Force’s growth (4%) for the first time. While this is good news, the report still finds the gap remains. The industry needs 795,000 new automotive, diesel, collision repair, aviation and avionics technicians to meet demand over the next five years, 2023-2027. Even with the uptick in completions of tech school and community college programs, the gap continues to persist, the foundation said.

“Through this year’s data analysis, we expect nearly 800,000 new technicians to be needed over the next five years. This number is down from last year’s projection of one million new hires deemed necessary to fill the gap. While a number of factors influence overall demand, the increase in technical school graduates and the growth of the total number of technicians employed from 2021 to 2022 certainly account for a good part of the decrease,” said Greg Settle, author of the report and director emeritus of national initiatives at TechForce Foundation. “Of the 795,000 new technicians required, automotive technician demand is still the highest at 495,000. Diesel technicians follow at 152,000, collision repair at 110,000 and aviation and avionics still needs 68,000 new hires. The decrease in open positions is certainly encouraging, as well as the increase in both technicians employed and postsecondary technical program graduates. Hopefully, the past year’s trend of increased graduates continues, as we still have many more open positions than graduates ready to join the workforce. Collision repair has the biggest challenge ahead with 6.7 jobs available for every graduate, followed by 3.1 for diesel, 2.6 for automotive and 1.2 in aviation.”

The report also provides projections for the impact of electric vehicles on workforce needs, and recently added an analysis of aviation data over previous years.

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