Hiring Employee Relations General Fixed Operations

State of the Workforce

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For years, a steady perception has existed in the industry of the typical technician. However, just as customer demographics have evolved, so too have workforce demographics. Today’s workforce not only looks different, but is also motivated by a wholly different set of benefits. This is a snapshot of the people that make up the workforce, how they work, what they want and what could potentially keep them in the industry.


The Average Technician

  • At the end of 2015, just 18.6 percent of all dealerships personnel were female.
  • Millennials make up 60 percent of all dealership hires.
  • The average dealership is now comprised of 42 percent millennial talent.
  • Additionally, women accounted for only 20 percent of new hires made across dealerships.
  • Women represented only 7.8 percent of all active employees in the nine non-admin positions compared to 8 percent in 2014.
  • The average technician is 41 years old and has worked for 19 years as a technician


Job Satisfaction

  • Of technicians who did not see a clear career path at their dealerships, 40 percent were unsatisfied with their jobs.
  • Nearly 20 percent of those who were dissatisfied said they see themselves looking to another industry.
  • Technicians selecting jobs for management or working environment are the most satisfied that they selected the right job, at 55 percent and 51 percent, respectively
  • 27 percent of technicians stated that they are “satisfied” with their career progression.
  • Technicians who are “relatively satisfied” with their career progression want to stay at their same dealers.
  • 21 percent of technicians spend more than 20 percent of their time on quick lube work, yet very few dealerships have a career progression plan for these techs. The more time a tech spends on that work, the lower their satisfaction with their career progression.

Technician Turnover

  • 45 percent of employees stay with their dealerships for more than three years (versus 67 percent in the U.S. nonfarm private sector average).
  • The millennial rate of turnover was significantly higher than Gen X and Baby Boomers, coming in at 35 and 26 percent, respectively.
  • Turnover among female employees increased two percentage points to 43 percent year-over-year, and is a full four points higher than their male counterparts who come in at 39 percent.
  • Median tenure of the active dealership workforce dropped from 3.8 years in December 2011 to 2.4 years in December 2015.
  • Turnover among millennials increased to 52 percent in 2015, but the increasing number of millennials being hired each year has a negative impact on overall dealership turnover, retention and tenure.
  • Higher turnover in millennials was primarily driven by four factors: poorly defined career paths, commission based pay plans, working long hours, and working weekends.
  • Female turnover was higher than male turnover in most of the key positions.


*Data compiled from the NADA Dealership Workforce Study and the Carlisle Technician Survey.

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