TechForce Foundation has released its 2021 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report, revealing the transportation technician shortage continues to worsen. Demand for technicians nearly doubled in the past year – from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021. Last year demand outpaced supply by nearly three to one; now it is estimated to be five to one.
The 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report supplements the Foundation’s previous reports, adjusting prior projections to reflect research from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office and TechForce’s own analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Citing both increasing demand for professional techs and a declining supply of new techs entering the industry, the update concludes that the technician shortage is increasing in severity, exacerbated by the COVID driven decrease in post-secondary enrolments in 2020.
Although demand is strong, with 797,530 auto/diesel/collision techs needed between 2021 and 2025, the shortage continues to worsen. This year demand for new entrant techs is estimated at 258,000 (up from 136,503 in 2020) while 2020 post secondary completions (supply) were only 48,000. Experts say they are seeing a glimmer of hope as attitudes toward these careers are improving in part because they were deemed essential by the government. This translates to great job security. “There is no short-term immediate fix for the tech shortage because it takes time to cultivate and train new techs. However, we are seeing growing industry support and student engagement with near term solutions like the network launched earlier this year by TechForce,” said Jennifer Maher, TechForce CEO.
Built to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians, JoinTechForce.org is the first and only social network designed and gamified exclusively for professional technicians and tech students. They are using it to connect with each other, employers and schools. The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find scholarships and events, explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.
According to TechForce Director Emeritus of National Initiatives Greg Settle, who authored the report, “We have done our best to make allowances for the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is clear that the long-term social and economic consequences remain unknown.”
“As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, skilled workers remain vital to our nation’s economy,” says Jerome Grant, CEO of Universal Technical Institute. “This report is informative as to the trends for emerging areas within the automotive field including some initial details on the impact of electric vehicles.”
The 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report can be downloaded here.