The best way for dealership service technicians to display their skills and advance their careers is to earn certification by an automaker or professional group. Dealers who pay to get their techs certified say they often realize a handsome return on that investment.
Certification provides verified proof that a technician can, say, rebuild a turbocharger or weld complex aluminum structures. Historically, technicians have been responsible for pursuing much of their own learning in such areas.
But over the last decade, two challenges have encouraged dealerships to provide financial incentives to their techs to become and stay certified, says Mattia Janigro, a senior associate at the automotive consultancy Carlisle & Co.
The first, Janigro told Fixed Ops Journal, is the growing shortage of recruits in mechanical trades. The second, he says, is the rise of certified collision repair programs that require considerable advanced training and techs with multiple certifications in various jobs.
Carlisle conducts an annual survey of more than 18,000 service technicians and advisers. "We hear time and time again how important it is for technicians to see that the shop is invested in them," Janigro notes.
Dealerships that cover the cost of certification and training gain a major advantage in tech hiring and retention, Janigro says. Factory certification also offers these dealerships a potential marketing tool to impress service customers, he adds.