The semiconductor chip shortage is not going away, and the supply chain needs trucks
in service to stay in service.
Automotive service technicians and diesel mechanics are working during an interesting
and exciting time. Long-term preventative and predictive maintenance by techs have
become a key part in navigating supply chain issues.
“As technicians we cannot see the future, but we can complete routine updates like
tire rotations and oil changes while keeping our eyes open for future problems that
may come up for a vehicle down the road,” Pete Avalos, MC Department Chair/Professor
Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology and Energy Technology said. “The emphasis
is on extending the life of current fleets because replacing vehicles is either not
cost effective or impossible right now. I tell my students all the time as techs,
we must cater to that demand right now. At MC, we prioritize maintenance, repairs,
and good judgment and decision making – thinking through the pros and cons of different
options and picking the best ones.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects from 2014-2024, employment opportunities for
diesel service technicians will increase by 12% and 19% for automotive service technicians.
“The supply chain issue is dire, but with it comes opportunities for MC’s automotive
and diesel techs,” Avalos said. “The jobs these student techs are learning cannot
be outsourced. It’s an increasingly complicated hands-on trade. The benefits of preventative
and predictive maintenance will not go away. This chip shortage and supply chain crisis
are only bringing to light all the things that MC’s technicians can do going forward.”
MC’s Automotive Technology program reflects a building-block approach from simple
to complex skills, covering operational theory, diagnosis, repair, maintenance, practical
skills, accepted shop procedures, different models of cars including late-model vehicles
with electronic systems.
MC’s Diesel Technology program trains students to fix complex electrical systems,
electronic controls, brake systems, suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning,
engine performance, engines, manual drive trains and axles, hydrostatic and automatic
transmissions, and diesel/automotive shop management.
Both programs are accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
(NATEF). The curriculum is designed to prepare students for successful completion
of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) national certification.