June 5 is National Automotive Service Professionals Day 2023 which recognizes the ongoing hard work of technicians to keep our vehicles running smoothly on the road. Observed annually during the second week of June, the day recognizes the commitment of these support professionals to furthering the automotive industry.
In this blog post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the role of these men and women and their important contributions to the ever-changing world of technology.
What is an Automotive Service Professional?
Automotive service professionals, also known as auto technicians, are the experts behind motor vehicles. Generally earning their education from a hands-on trade school program, they understand the fundamentals of automotive maintenance, inspection, diagnosis, and repair.
Through this type of training, students will master valuable skills such as performing a pre-alignment system check, flushing a power steering system and fixing an automatic transmission.
Career Options for Automotive Service Professionals
By understanding the ins and outs of cars, automotive service professionals are lucrative and in-demand since many households in the U.S. own at least one car. This means that these skilled men and women often have the opportunity to work anywhere in the country. Career choices include:
Automotive glass or body repairers
General maintenance and repair workers
Other support professionals could also help with the management of a body shop or more specific technicalities like glass repair jobs.
How is the Automotive Service Industry Evolving?
As new technology is introduced such as electric vehicles, automotive professionals must maintain their skills while capitalizing on new ones.
“The industry is forever changing; it’s extremely technical and understanding basic electrical systems is critical,” said Roget Damron, Director of Education at Tidewater Tech. “A lot of old school mechanics aren’t up to speed which is why it’s important for our students to be able to stay up to date with technology while we equip them with the skills needed to work on a hybrid or electric car or truck.”
At Tidewater Tech, Damron says that students work with technology such as a Prius Cutaway Trainer to learn basics like how a typical drive train operates.
The Importance of National Automotive Service Professionals Day
Inaugurated in 2001, National Automotive Service Professionals Day is celebrated annually during the second calendar week of June. The day is meant to honor an individual’s commitment to their career and celebrate their achievements. Meanwhile, Automotive Service Professionals Week is also marked this year as June 5-11 and was started in 2005, following the success of National Automotive Service Professionals Day, by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence.
For Damron, the day also gives light to another important factor: the ongoing automotive workers’ shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while employment growth for the industry is limited, there are approximately 73,300 openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics projected each year, on average, over the 10-year period of 2021 to 2031. A majority of these openings come from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force altogether.
“Automotive Service Professionals Day not only helps share how important these skilled workers are but it also points out the shortage that exists,” said Damron. “Auto technicians solve many problems and there’s always a backup and need for them.”
The Future of the Automotive Industry
As technology continues to become streamlined, those in the automotive industry are pushing the envelope to keep up with the changing times.
“Many people often think of these men and women as mechanics covered in grease and overalls instead of actual technicians, and it’s not like that anymore,” said Damron. “These professionals are troubleshooting and analyzing cars, and actively working to change the perception of what it means to be an automotive professional.”
No matter how cars of the future look, Tidewater Tech will still continue to celebrate national automotive service professionals everywhere and their continued impact on the industry.