Attracting and Retaining Auto Technicians: What Really Works?

In the fast-paced world of automotive repair, finding skilled technicians is no easy feat. With growing complexities in vehicle technology and a widening skill gap, the challenges for shops to attract and retain top talent are steeper than ever. So, what do businesses resort to when it comes to keeping their benches full of skilled technicians? 

We conducted an Instagram poll through our CmySkills platform, asking auto shops which tools or programs they employ to bring in and keep technicians. Here’s how they weighed in:

–  Cash Hiring Bonus  38%

–  Good Benefit Programs  23%

–  Paid Ongoing Training (I-CAR, ASE, etc.) 23%

–  OEM Training Courses 15%

Cash Hiring Bonus: The Quick Fix?

A cash hiring bonus is the most popular method, according to our poll, with 38% of shops utilizing this tactic. Offering a cash bonus upfront can act as an immediate incentive and make an offer more attractive to potential hires. However, it is essential to remember that this is often a short-term solution. The key to long-term retention lies in ongoing support and growth opportunities.

Good Benefit Programs: The Silent Retainer

Nearly a quarter of shops rely on comprehensive benefits programs, which is an excellent method for both attracting and retaining employees. Benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans add a layer of security that can make your shop more appealing in the long term. 

The Importance of Continuous Learning

Paid ongoing training, such as I-CAR, ASE certifications, or other industry-recognized courses, is another popular choice, with 23% of shops implementing this. Offering paid training sends a clear message: the shop is interested in the technician’s professional development. This not only attracts quality candidates but also keeps them engaged and less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.

 OEM Training Courses: Specialization Matters

Last but not least, 15% of shops offer OEM training courses. These specialized courses can be particularly attractive to technicians keen on advancing their skill set in a focused area, like electric vehicles or a specific brand.


1. Cash Bonuses Work, But They Aren’t Everything: While cash bonuses can attract technicians, they are not a stand-alone solution for long-term retention.

2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Benefits: Good benefits packages are almost as enticing as cash bonuses and serve the dual purpose of retention.

3. Invest in Your Team’s Learning: Ongoing training opportunities not only make you more appealing to new hires, but they also show your existing team that you’re invested in their growth.

4. Specialization Can Set You Apart: Offering OEM-specific training can be a deciding factor for technicians looking to specialize, thus potentially attracting a higher skill set.

Balancing these tools and programs effectively can make all the difference in building a team of skilled technicians that stay with your shop for the long haul. Ultimately, the key to successful attraction and retention lies in a comprehensive approach that mixes immediate incentives with long-term growth and stability.


Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @CmySkills for more insights into the automotive repair industry, stay tuned to our blog at, join the conversation on our Facebook Auto Technician forum and follow us on our rapidly growing groups on Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn

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