The current state of the automotive technician shortage is causing many dealerships to search out new employees. TechForce estimates that there will only be 763,600 automotive technicians by 2028, which is a decline over previous years. With these numbers in hand, a smart dealership is looking for the industries where technicians can be found.

In this article, we cover a few professions that would create good auto technicians. If you can’t find mechanics from your pool of applicants, consider reaching out to these local industries instead.

Aircraft Mechanic

The aircraft mechanic might make more per year than the average automotive tech, but the stress of the job can also take a toll on someone. The aircraft mechanic maintains helicopters, airplanes, and other aircraft while working in hangars or on the airfield.

While the equipment they work on is slightly different, the jobs are the same as the automotive technician, just on a different scale. This mechanic is responsible for performing routine maintenance, diagnosing mechanical issues, and replacing broken parts. They also know how to keep a detailed record of all work that has been performed, making them a shoo-in for a career change into the dealership.

Marine Mechanic

The boat mechanic is another trade that could easily turn into a profession within the automotive field. This technician specializes in a variety of boats, working at the dealership, service yard, or marina.

The common tasks performed by this mechanic include testing and repairing engines, updating electronic equipment on vessels, and installing new parts. This technician also understands trailers and winches, allowing for work on accessories.

Small Engine Mechanic

Once a technician understands the basics of small engine maintenance and repair, it doesn’t take much more learning to make the leap into the dealership. A tech might specialize in one type of engine or work on a variety of snowmobiles, ATVs, scooters, lawnmowers, and motorcycles.

However, they are skilled at inspecting and diagnosing mechanical faults, as well as performing routine maintenance. They can also adjust engine components to match the manufacturer’s specifications and replace broken components. While they are learning the more advanced systems on modern vehicles, you can put these techs in charge of oil changes and spark plug replacement to alleviate the burden on your experienced mechanics.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

The heavy equipment mechanic might not fully understand today’s cars, but they have the knowledge required to get started. These technicians have been working on heavy equipment in industrial, mining, agriculture, construction, or railway industries. You can also find them working with government agencies or equipment rental shops.

Some of the relevant skills they possess include providing routine engine maintenance, replacing broken components, and repairing large equipment systems. You might find these technicians are an invaluable source of help when working on larger diesel trucks.

Auto Body Technician

The auto body technician might be ready for a career change and already has plenty of knowledge about basic vehicle systems. Their job has them using many of the same tools you have in the dealership, with the addition of paint guns, welders, and metal-cutting equipment.

Because they already know how to inspect vehicle damage, provide estimates, and replace damaged parts, it won’t be much of a transition for these workers. You might even decide to expand the auto body services as a result of hiring new auto body technicians.


It can seem overwhelming when you struggle to find new automotive technicians, but it’s also possible that you just need to expand your search. Look at the above professions to see if you can get some qualified candidates to make a career shift.

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