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Automotive Industry Insights
As car design has evolved, the level of skill required to repair them has changed exponentially. From hybrids and electric automobiles to new advanced clean-diesel engines, and even prototypes on the market of cars that can drive themselves, it's a new world.

Within this fast-paced industry, we are finding there is a shortage of highly skilled auto technicians to keep up with the technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for auto technicians is expected to grow by 17% between 1020 and 2020. I would say that the highest demand within this growth is for highly skilled technicians, those with the training to decipher data, interpret the diagnostics, and pinpoint a problem and fix it.

Even down to the tires, everything on a modern-built car involves sensors that feed into complicated electrical circuitry and computers.

My students do not even use traditional textbooks anymore. They work with Chromebooks that run the Today's Class program of studying and mastering everything related to automotives. By the time they complete our coursework, they can be ASE-Student Certified Technicians.

There are a myriad of career paths to follow in our field. In addition to working at a dealership or repair shop, some of our students go into auto racing, working on a crew. One of my past students, Adrienne Zonneville, was the only female tuner to work for the Busch Series of auto racing.

Don Schumacher Racing, based in Indiana, has hired our students as techs to work on their dragsters. These models can go from 0 to 325 miles per hour in 3.750 seconds. For anyone who loves cars, this is an unbelievable job opportunity.

And even my brother, Anthony, who I taught here at CVCC in the early 1990s is working on Clay Millican's dragster.

In addition to teaching Auto Service Technology, I have a side passion for drag racing. All my life I've loved the mechanics of cars, but in 2002, when I went to a drag race and sat in Don Schumacher's hospitality tent, I got hooked. Today I travel the country in my limited spare time working as a left cylinder technician on a funny car, overseeing piston and rod assemblies. Races have taken me as far as Bakersfield, California, and Epping, New Hampshire.

Whatever aspect of auto services our students choose to follow, I tell them how lucky they are to be in a recession-proof industry. There were more than 250 million cars and trucks driving the American roads in 2012. And even if the economy takes a little dip and consumers cannot afford to buy a new car, at least their old ones will still be in need of repair.

By Joe LamatriceAuto Service Technology Instructor, CVCC
Article posted on
Joe Lamatrice is an ASE-Certified Master Automobile Technician and a Certified Maintenance and Light Repair Technician.
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8001 Brecksville Rd
Brecksville, OH 44141
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