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Top 3 Mechanics and Repair Tech Programs: Student Recruitment and Employment Trends

December 13, 2018 Jeff Meola

Mechanics and repair technologies volume decreased by 12% year over year (YOY) — from Q1-Q3 (January to September) 2017 to Q1-Q3 2018, according to the 2018 Report on the State of Mechanics and Repair Tech Education Demand published by Digital Media Solutions. Conversely, the conversion rate (CVR) for programs in the mechanics and repair tech category increased from 5.8% to 7.3% during the same period. Mechanics and repair technologies inquiries were almost entirely for the campus format and skewed heavily toward lower degree levels, with diplomas accounting for almost 90% of inquiry volume and conversions.

mechanics and repair technologies SOV degree level

Across the mechanics and repair technologies category, just three programs accounted for nearly 90% of inquiry volume and approximately 92% of conversion volume in H1 2018. In this article, we dive into these top three programs and examine conversion data plus employment trends, as labor market shifts can heavily impact student recruitment. All program share of volume(SOV) statistics in this article are reported as a percentage of inquiries within the mechanics and repair technologies category.

#1 Mechanics and Repair Technologies Program in H1 2018

Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician

At 50.4% (up from 46.0% in 2017), heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration (HVAC-R) maintenance technology/technician had the highest SOV of all mechanics and repair technologies programs in H1 2018.  The conversion rate for HVAC-R programs increased from 5.1% in 2017 to 6.1% in H1 2018. The BLS projected employment of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics was $47,080 in May 2017, significantly higher than the $37,690 median for all occupations. Based on these employment projections, we anticipate HVAC-R programs will maintain a top position in the mechanics and repair technologies category for quarters to come.

#2 Mechanics and Repair Technologies Program in H1 2018

Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician

Automobile/automotive mechanics technology/technician had the second-highest SOV for mechanics and repair technologies programs in H1 2018 with a 34.9% SOV, down from 36.0% in 2017. The conversion rate for automobile/automotive mechanics technology/technician programs increased from 6.8% in 2017 to 8.5% in H1 2018. The BLS projected employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics to grow 6% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $39,550 in May 2017.  Based on these employment projections, we anticipate automobile/automotive mechanics technology/technician program volume may remain relatively flat in the coming quarters.

#3 Mechanics and Repair Technologies Program in H1 2018

Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician

Diesel mechanics technology/technician had the third-highest SOV for mechanics and repair technologies programs in H1 2018 with a 7.1% SOV, down from 7.9% in 2017. The conversion rate for diesel mechanics technology/technician programs increased from 9.7% in 2017 to 12.6% in H1 2018. The BLS projected employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for diesel service technicians and mechanics was $46,360 in May 2017. Despite having the lowest SOV of the top three mechanics and repair technologies programs, the diesel mechanics technology/technician programs had the highest conversion rate within the top three. The relatively high salary may fuel growth for this program, as shown by a 5.8% increase in inquiry volume from Q2 2018 to Q3 2018.

For additional information about mechanics and repair technologies recruitment trends, download the 2018 Report on the State of Mechanics and Repair Tech Education Demand.

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About the Author

Jeff Meola

Jeff Meola is the Consumer Insights & Marketing Analytics Director at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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