Automotive technicians in short supply and high demand
Demand for light and heavy vehicle automotive technicians is strong because:
- high rates of car ownership in New Zealand mean a large number of cars regularly need servicing
- high volumes of freight, such as wood, plants, meat and seafood, are transported by road, and this will likely increase, meaning more trucks will need servicing
- large roading projects and forestry operations use earthmoving and forestry equipment, trucks and other heavy vehicles, which need servicing.
There are not enough automotive technicians to meet demand, and employers find it difficult to get staff.
As a result, motor mechanic (automotive technician) and automotive air conditioning technician appear on Immigration New Zealand's regional skill shortage list. Diesel motor mechanic (heavy vehicle automotive technician) appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled automotive technicians from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 14,955 automotive technicians (motor mechanics) worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Types of employers varied
Automotive technicians work for:
- vehicle dealerships and servicing companies
- agricultural equipment servicing companies
- heavy equipment servicing companies that deal with machines such as forklifts, excavators and earthmoving equipment
- road transport (heavy trucking) companies
- passenger transport (bus) companies
- workshops that specialise in fixing farm vehicles such as quad bikes.
Twelve percent of automotive technicians are self-employed, and 8% own a business where they employ others.