I-CAR and SCRS Partner with Ducker Carlisle to Release White Paper on Collision Repair Technician Satisfaction

February 27, 2024

I-CAR and SCRS Partner with Ducker Carlisle to Release White Paper on Collision Repair Technician Satisfaction

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL, February 27, 2024 - In response to the growing challenges faced by the collision repair industry in retaining and attracting skilled technicians, I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, in collaboration with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), engaged with Ducker Carlisle, a global consulting firm, to conduct a technician satisfaction survey researching their opinions on compensation, culture and career opportunities. This comprehensive white paper showcases the unique perspective of collision repair technicians and aims to better understand their sentiments and career outlook while identifying key factors influencing their workplace satisfaction.

This survey, which was conducted in 2023 and involved more than 800 collision repair technicians, provided valuable insights into various aspects of the profession. Ducker Carlisle’s comprehensive experience in the automotive space and their history of surveying, analyzing and benchmarking the perspective of diesel and mechanical technicians was instrumental in helping the collision repair industry understand recruitment and retention challenges. The survey also allowed a basis for comparison between those two automotive service sectors which often compete with the collision repair industry for technician talent.

“The white paper's groundbreaking results shed light on critical areas that need attention within our industry,” said Dara Goroff, Vice President of Planning and Industry Talent Programming. “We're already starting to provide solutions that address the issues contributing to attrition with the goal of enhancing technician satisfaction to help the industry attract, engage, educate and retain the top talent that will foster the industry's sustainability, growth and success.”

“The industry recognizes that collision repair technicians are indispensable to our business operations. Their pivotal role is evident, and the current industry landscape, marked by an annual turnover rate of 30-40% among technicians, underscores the challenges we face,” adds Aaron Schulenberg, Executive Director for SCRS. “In light of the pressing technician retention crisis, understanding the sentiments and career outlook of our skilled technicians has become a paramount concern for the industry's sustained success."

While recruiting new technicians is important, retaining those already employed is just as, if not more important.

The full report is viewed on I-CAR's website. Highlights of the white paper include:

Overall Satisfaction

The white paper reveals that, as a whole, collision repair technicians express higher satisfaction levels compared to their dealer service technician counterparts, based on previous Ducker Carlisle surveys. However, there is room for improvement, as over a quarter of collision techs are unsatisfied and considering leaving their current roles within the next two years.

Compensation & Pay Plan

Collision repair technicians have a high earning potential over the course of their careers, with many experienced techs earning over $100,000 a year. Entry level technician compensation is another an area of opportunity for improvements in satisfaction. Shops that pay on a flat rate have significantly lower employee satisfaction than shops who use other compensation models.

Benefits Offerings

Benefits offerings in the industry can vary widely based on the type of shop. When shops lack benefits, as 15% of survey respondents reported - whether due to non-offering or lack of awareness of availability, it poses a challenge in attracting and retaining skilled technicians.

Career Outlook & Progression

Technician satisfaction with career advancement opportunities is inconsistent, with nearly half expressing dissatisfaction or neutrality, or a lack of awareness about the opportunities available to them. Clear paths for and frequent communication about career growth and continuous learning are essential to enhance overall job satisfaction and retention.

Technical Training

Adequate training opportunities are crucial for technician satisfaction and long-term success. Collision repair technicians, on average, lack satisfaction with their technical training. Improved and more consistent implementation of training offerings are critical for attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce.

New Technology

Collision techs are generally excited about the opportunity to work on emerging vehicle technologies, with over half expressing enthusiasm. This stands in contrast to dealer service tech counterparts, indicating a potential recruiting advantage for collision shops. For more detailed findings and insights, the complete white paper is available for viewing on I-CAR's website.

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About I-CAR:

Founded in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit education, knowledge, and solutions organization designed to support the evolving needs of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. I-CAR, which is accredited by IACET (The International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training) is focused on improving the quality and safety of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of both the industry and the consumer. For more information, please visit www.i-car.com.

About SCRS:

Through its direct members and 35 affiliate associations, SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair collision-damaged vehicles. Additional information about SCRS including other news releases is available at the SCRS Web site: www.scrs.com. You can e-mail SCRS at the following address: info@scrs.com

About Ducker Carlisle:

Ducker Carlisle is an industry leader in addressing challenges related to technician recruitment and retention. With extensive experience working with automotive OEMs, Ducker Carlisle brings valuable insights to help navigate the evolving landscape of the automotive industry.