Ed. Foundation, I-CAR Release Industry Snapshot

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Jan. 13, 2017—The executive summary of the collision repair industry Snapshot Survey, co-sponsored by the Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR, was made available on Thursday.

The summary provides an in-depth look at current industry data, as well as running trends based on previous survey results dating back to 1995. These trends give a look at the current direction of the industry as it relates to important data points including technician age, turnover, income and more.

The survey, which is conducted every three years, is distributed electronically to more than 20,000 shop owners and managers. This year, some 630 collision repair business responded, representing more than 4,500 technicians.

Highlights from the 2016 survey include:

  • To offset the disparity for technicians, collision repair industry professionals would need to hire 12,000 technicians each year. 
  • Approximately 61.8 percent of repair facilities reported having positions that were unfilled for more than three months.
  • The collision industry currently needs some 50,000 employees across 40,962 collision repair shops. Three out of five shops reported hiring at least one entry-level technician in the past year.
  • Participation on technical school advisory committees has again increased (from 29 percent to 37 percent) over the past three years.
  • Expectations for collision repair skills of technical school program graduates have remained steady over the years with prep for paint, R&R bolted parts, repair steel metal dents and detailing still the top four tasks.
  • The industry is growing but the workforce is aging.
  • The collision repair industry is mostly made up of independent businesses.
  • The largest three-year surge in the total number of technicians, from 173,200 to 187,800.
  • The average age of techs has risen to almost 41 years old.
  • Technician turnover continues as a challenge with 14.5 percent leaving their jobs in the last 12 months – some 8.3 percent moved to another industry job, while 6.2 percent left the trade.
  • Average income for production technicians rose from $52,997 in 2013 to $53,857 in 2016.
  • Collision repair businesses have decreased health care benefits since the last survey.

The complete Snapshot of the Collision Repair Industry can be seen at www.collisioneducationfoundation.org.

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