Due to a long-standing dependency on land vehicles, employment prospects for automotive technicians are accelerating. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this evolving segment of the labor force to aggrandize by 9 percent by the year 2022.

(Photo courtesy of Jess Guerra)

(Photo courtesy of Jess Guerra)

“As the automotive systems in today’s cars have become more complex and advanced, the demand for trained technicians has increased,” said Jess Guerra, department chair of transportation technologies at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC).

The 20-year veteran of the automotive industry says the hike in job opportunities is being fueled by a growing environmentally responsible local population.

“There are more hybrid and compressed natural gas vehicles on the road today than there were four years ago,” said Guerra, a LATTC alumnus that specializes in diesel and related technology. “As the economy continues to improve and the push for greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles grows, this will present additional opportunities for technicians.”

Why is LA a hot bed for this profession?

“With about five-and-a-half million cars in Los Angeles County, LA is an automotive hub. Automobiles are an essential part of most people’s everyday life and it is important that these vehicles are maintained in a safe and reliable manner.”

What key attributes must a technician hold?

“The automotive technician must be competent in digital literacy and pose a strong understanding of the mechanical, electrical and electronic automotive systems used in vehicles today.”

In what way is the technician’s role evolving?

“There will be many new and emerging technologies in the next five years, such as fuel cell and other supporting systems, which will make vehicles more efficient. What this means for the technicians is that their role will be more about performing advanced and complex diagnostics.”

How does one plan for this vocation?

“The best way to prepare for a career in this field is to attend a reputable automotive program, such as the one offered at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. It not only provides technical training, but also the ability to earn an Associate degree, which will open additional doors. There is an existing and rewarding future for automotive service technicians.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.


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