Career Pathways in Auto Repair Shops: What the Survey Reveals

The automotive repair industry is continuously evolving, with an ever-increasing focus on specialization, advanced technology, and the constant need for updated skill sets. While most attention usually falls on the quality of service and customer satisfaction, one crucial factor often gets overlooked: career development for technicians. With this in mind, we conducted a survey to examine if shop owners and managers provide a clear career path for their technicians to enhance their skills and pay. 

Survey Highlights

The survey question posed was straightforward: “Does your shop owner/manager provide you a clear career path to increase your skills and pay?” Here’s how the community responded:

– Yes: 69%

– No: 31%

Let’s unpack what these results mean for both employees and employers in the auto repair industry

The Happy Majority: 69% Have a Clear Career Path

A significant 69% of respondents indicated that they are provided with a distinct career pathway by their shop owner or manager. This is an encouraging statistic, demonstrating that a majority of shop leaders are actively invested in their technicians’ career growth. This approach not only retains quality talent but also ensures that the technicians are consistently upskilled, aligning with technological advancements and market demands.

The Unattended Minority: 31% Lack Career Guidance

However, a concerning 31% state that they do not have a clear career path for skills and pay advancement. This figure indicates a gap in workforce development within the industry. Lack of career direction can lead to job dissatisfaction, lower performance, and eventually, high turnover rates.

Implications for the Industry

1. Employee Retention: Providing a clear career path can significantly improve employee retention. Skilled technicians are more likely to stay with shops that invest in their growth.

2. Skill Enhancement: Focused career paths often come with targeted training programs, contributing to the overall skill enhancement of the workforce.

3. Business Growth: As technicians grow their skills, it adds value to the business, potentially attracting more customers seeking specialized services.

4. Cultural Shift: The 31% who do not have a clear path can serve as a wake-up call for shop owners. Addressing this issue can instigate a cultural shift towards comprehensive employee development.


The survey data provides a valuable glimpse into the current state of career development within the auto repair industry. While the majority appear to be on the right track, there is still a considerable percentage left wanting in terms of career progression and skill enhancement. 

Shop owners and managers should take these findings as both a validation of good practices and a prompt to address existing gaps. Investing in clear career paths is not just beneficial for employee satisfaction and retention, but it’s also crucial for staying competitive in an ever-evolving industry.

For the technicians who find themselves in shops not providing a clear career path—your voice has been heard. And for those who are benefiting from focused career development, your experiences stand as a benchmark for the industry to strive toward.


For more insights and information related to the automotive repair industry, particularly how technicians feel about key issues and opportunities – 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

If you found this blog post insightful, don’t forget to share it with your network. 

*This post is part of our ongoing series exploring trends and issues in the automotive industry. Stay tuned for more!*

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