Missouri High School Working to Fill Need for Auto Technicians

May 24, 2024
South Tech High School of Sunset Hills, Missouri, is training its students to be ASE-certified techs–and local businesses are taking notice.

A Missouri high school is training students to graduate as certified automotive technicians–and local businesses are taking notice, reports KSDK.

Every day, high school juniors and seniors from across St. Louis County are taken to South Technical High School’s campus in Sunset Hills, Missouri, to spend half their school day training in auto repair.

By the time they graduate, the auto tech students will be ASE certified. Automotive instructor John Arndt said that they’ll have the skill set required for entry-level technician positions, though the school actively encourages students to pursue further training after high school.

Students shared their motivations for joining the auto tech program, which included the lower cost of attending a trade school, and the opportunity to earn good money in the repair industry–the latter of which is a sentiment echoed by Randy Harman, a talent acquisition manager at local dealership Lou Fusz Automotive.

“They're going to be in high demand in the next five years,” said Harman, “We've seen over the past three to four years, pay has increased dramatically.”

With a growing demand for technicians in the field, dealerships like Lou Fusz are getting ahead of the curve, sponsoring auto tech programs like South Tech’s and recruiting them after graduation. It presents an opportunity that not only dealership service departments, but independent repair shops as well, should take note of.

“Normally, the students that come straight out of high school will start with us
either in the detail shop or as a detail tech doing oil changes, tire rotations and things like that,” told Harman. “But, I do recommend these students that graduate from high school do go to a two or four year program to get those certifications.”

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Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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