Mechanics needed: Iowa automobile shops struggle to find workers

Iowa News

CLIVE, Iowa — Like leaders in many industries these days, Bill Tiernan has a challenge: He needs more workers.

“If I hear anyone tell me they can’t find a job,” Tiernan said, “I feel like they’re not looking.”

Tiernan is the franchise owner for Christian Brothers Automotive in Clive. He realizes not all jobs are suited for all people. But he also knows that finding automobile technicians right now is a lot more difficult than drivers figuring out why their car’s engine has been making funny noises. “Everybody is just looking for good help right now.”

There was already a nationwide shortage of mechanics. COVID-19’s pandemic has only made that situation worse. One survey found that 60% of shops are looking for technicians. And another predicted a shortage of 642,000 technicians by 2024.

The average base salary for mechanics ranges nationally is $40,746, according to

Tiernan hopes a $10,000 signing bonus will help attract the 18-20 technicians that he will need for his current location, along with a new location in Grimes that he hopes to open next May.

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