Servicing Electrical Systems Tops Aftermarket Training Needs

May 8, 2018

The aftermarket’s greatest training need is for electrical and electronic systems service, according to an ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) survey.

Respondents to the 2018 ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) training benchmarks survey ranked electrical/electronic (53.1%), hybrid/electrical vehicle systems (50.7%) and advanced engine performance (48.5%) among the aftermarket’s top training needs.  

Are you paying for your technician’s training? The survey found that 61.2% of employers’ pay for their technicians’ training. According to the survey, 25.2% of employees pay for their training themselves while 13.6% of respondents reported the cost of training is shared by employer and employee.

Those are part of the findings of the 2018 ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) training benchmarks survey. Other survey findings include:

  • The average age of the service professional workforce is 50 years old;
  • OE dealership technicians average 28 hours of structured training per year. Techs working in independent shops average 15 hours of structured training per year, and techs employed by fleets average 18 hours of training per year;
  • Slightly more than 5% of auto techs earn more than $100,000 annually;
  • Career and technical education (Vo-Tech) instructors, on average, earn more than auto technicians; and
  • There is a correlation between more training for techs and higher income.

Members of the ATMC, which is a division of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), discussed the results of the survey at its 44th annual conference April 11-13, 2018.

With almost 80% of the membership attending, about a third of the participants were from the OE realm, a third from the aftermarket, and a third from training vendors, software developers, publishers, industry organizations, and others who serve the training industry.

ATMC President Dave Milne began the conference with a summary of the information learned from the 2018 survey. With more than 4,700 responses from working service personnel, the survey continues to yield accurate insights into the demographics of the workforce and their preferences for, and participation in, training.

The conference also featured experts who discussed the future of vehicle service training.

Dr. Mark Quarto, founder of Quarto Technical Services, spoke on vehicle electrification and the skills gap between what technicians know about this technology and what they need to know to effectively maintain and repair these vehicles. He warned the auto and truck service industry is in danger of losing this business to the electronics industry without an adequate training response.

Anne Simmons, director of training services for GPC/NAPA Auto Parts, shared her expertise on presentation skills and their importance in transforming a great subject matter expert into a great instructor. Simmons’ presentation focused heavily on how to give positive and constructive feedback to a new presenter.

On the last day of the conference, Ken Benson, training field operations manager with Subaru of North America, presented a summary of the information collected in the OE training benchmarks annual survey. This survey focuses on facilities, techs per instructor, units-in-operation per tech, number of instructional hours per month, and 35 other metrics that help the OE managers benchmark their training programs against others.

Koen Berends, a European training entrepreneur and founder of Electude, spoke on his experiences training in 51 countries and drew comparisons between effective training in other countries and accepted practices in the U.S.

Matt Grob with the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) was the final presenter. He informed the attendees of the agency's efforts to prepare America's veterans and their spouses who are transitioning to private sector careers by providing them with employment resources and expertise, protecting their employment rights, and promoting their opportunities. Matt also outlined coordinated efforts with employers to ensure successful transitions through training and support.

ATMC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of training and professional development within the transportation service industry. A member of the ASE Industry Education Alliance, ATMC helps members keep up with innovations in automotive training delivery by facilitating interaction among its members and serves as a leadership forum for training professionals to promote world class training standards in the automotive, heavy duty and related industries.

A summary of the survey information is available for the industry to view at the ATMC website