Technician Jobs Are Booming: Here's The Data You Need To Know

Explore the widespread impact of the technician boom across various industries that highlights the growing demand for skilled workers.

Key Takeaways

  • Technician Talent Dearth: The shortage of technicians is a critical challenge across industries that highlights an urgent need for skilled workers to fill crucial roles.
  • Job Growth: The job growth for technicians across different industries is well above average with some sectors experiencing particularly high demand.
  • Next-Gen Workforce: Gen Z's involvement in the technician boom is crucial as they are poised to become the next generation of skilled workers.
  • Job Stigma: Destigmatizing technician and vocational jobs is essential to attract a diverse range of talent and address the growing demand for skilled technicians.
Explore the widespread impact of the technician boom across various industries that highlights the growing demand for skilled workers.

The role of a technician is fundamental to the functioning of modern society, with organizations across industries relying heavily on their expertise to install, repair, and maintain a wide array of technical equipment and systems. Technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of businesses handling tasks related to hardware and software. 

TechForce’s 2023 Technician Supply & Demand Report states that automotive, diesel, collision repair, aviation, and avionics industries are projected to require 795,000 new technicians between 2023 and 2027 to meet demand. . Despite efforts to bridge this gap through tech school and community college programs, the demand continues to outpace supply. According to David Sickles’ Editorial at Tire Review, "I truly believe that educational institutions offering two-year programs are pivotal in supplying the industry with new talent, but at the end of the day, these schools are a single – yet very important – cog in the grand technician creation and retention machine, one that is largely out of your control." 

To add to Sickles' point, there is a high demand for technicians, making it crucial to ramp up efforts in creating and retaining talent. Before making significant strides, it's essential to have a clear view of the industry-wide demand and tailor educational programs accordingly. 

This report aims to provide a pragmatic view of the technician job market by offering insights for industry leaders, job seekers, and those already working in this field. By understanding the current demand for technicians and the persistent gap in supply, stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding education, training, and recruitment strategies.  

The technician boom presents both challenges and opportunities for individuals and organizations, highlighting the importance of staying abreast of market trends and demands in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and industry. 

a technician looking at the camera
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The Current Scenario: A Detailed Look at Technicians in Key Industries

There is robust demand for skilled technicians in the US, with several industries relying heavily on their expertise. This section provides a detailed overview of key technician professions and their job outlook across various industries.  

Maintenance Technicians (Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwright)

Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights play vital roles in installing, maintaining, and repairing factory equipment and industrial machinery. In 2022, these occupations accounted for approximately 507,900 jobs. The outlook is promising, with a projected 13 per cent growth in employment from 2022 to 2032, surpassing the average for all occupations.

Over the next decade, these professions expect an average of 49,100 job openings per year. While a high school diploma is typically required, industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers usually undergo at least a year of on-the-job training. Millwrights typically complete an apprenticeship program lasting up to 4 years.

a maintenance technician working in an industry

Technicians in the semiconductor industry:

Skilled and trained workers in the semiconductor industry are central to its operations. 

According to a 2023 report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the industry employs approximately 345,000 workers in the US as of the start of 2023. About 68% (236,000) of this workforce is engaged in semiconductor manufacturing, which includes fabricating semiconductor chips or manufacturing specialized machinery for fabrication. 

The remaining 32% (109,000) are design workers involved in designing semiconductors or developing specialized software tools.

The industry is expected to grow by nearly 115,000 jobs by 2030, but about 67,000 jobs are at risk of going unfilled at current rates of degree completion. This represents 58% of projected new technical jobs in the semiconductor industry or approximately 80% of all projected new jobs in technical occupations.

According to the Semiconductor Talent Assessment 2024 report, a $52.7 billion federal investment is expected to drive demand for highly trained workers across complex production processes. At 6.2%, semiconductor processing technicians rank second in the share of employment across US semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing.

To enter the semiconductor industry as a technician, aspirants can pursue technical education, gain hands-on experience, and stay updated with industry trends. 

For career advancement, those already employed can acquire specialized skills through training, obtain certifications, and demonstrate expertise in areas like equipment maintenance or process optimization.

working with circuits

Radiologic and MRI Technologists:

Radiologic and MRI technologists play a crucial role in healthcare by performing diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. In 2022, there were 264,100 jobs in this field, with an anticipated 6% growth rate from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. While most states require licensure or certification for radiologic technologists, licensure for MRI technologists is less common. However, employers typically prefer to hire technologists who are certified. The median annual wage for MRI technologists was $80,090 in May 2022, and for radiologic technologists and technicians, it was $65,140. 

EMTs and Paramedics:

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics play a critical role in healthcare, assessing injuries and illnesses, providing emergency medical care, and transporting patients to medical facilities. In 2022, there were 269,000 jobs in the field of EMTs and paramedics. The projected job outlook from 2022 to 2032 is 5%, indicating a faster-than-average growth rate than all occupations.EMTs and paramedics typically complete a postsecondary educational program and must be licensed in the state where they work, with requirements varying by state. Community college courses are available for those looking to fast-track their path to becoming an EMT.

inside an ambulance

Wind Turbine Technicians:

In 2022, there were 11,200 jobs for wind turbine service technicians responsible for maintaining and repairing wind turbines. Employment in this field is projected to grow by an impressive 45% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 1,800 openings for wind turbine technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Wind turbine service technicians typically need a postsecondary nondegree award to enter the occupation and typically receive on-the-job training.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installers:

Solar PV installers are responsible for assembling, setting up, and maintaining rooftops or other systems that convert sunlight into energy. In 2022, there were 29,400 jobs for solar photovoltaic installers, with employment in this field projected to grow by 22% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. Approximately 3,500 openings for solar photovoltaic installers are projected each year over the decade. While installers typically need a high school diploma, some may take courses at a technical school or community college. They also typically receive on-the-job training lasting up to 1 year.

solar photovoltaic installer


Logisticians are crucial in analyzing and coordinating an organization’s supply chain. While a bachelor’s degree is typically required, some positions may accept candidates with less education. To begin a career in the logistics industry, individuals can pursue courses in logistics automation. Employers often value work experience, especially for those without a degree. In 2022, the field boasted 208,700 jobs, and it is expected to grow by 18% from 2022 to 2032, significantly faster than the average. An estimated 21,800 openings for logisticians are projected each year, offering ample opportunities in the field.

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians:

Agricultural and food science technicians support agricultural and food scientists in various settings, including laboratories, processing plants, farms, ranches, greenhouses, and offices. In 2022, there were 38,800 jobs for agricultural and food science technicians. The median annual wage for agricultural technicians was $41,760, and for food science technicians, it was $47,860 in May 2022. The field is projected to grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. While some positions require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, others may only require a high school diploma or equivalent plus related work experience.

a scientist working in a lab

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics:

Automotive service technicians and mechanics are involved with the inspection, maintenance, and repair of cars and light trucks. 

As of 2022, there were approximately 782,200 jobs in this field. Most automotive service technicians and mechanics work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops, ensuring a comfortable work environment. 

The median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $46,970 in May 2022.

Despite recent fluctuations in the automotive industry, employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics was projected to grow 2% from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

An average of 67,700 openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected each year over this decade, indicating a steady demand for skilled professionals in this field.

To work as a technician in the automotive industry, individuals can pursue vocational or technical training programs, apprenticeships, or on-the-job training.

automotive service technician

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians:

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians are responsible for repairing and performing scheduled maintenance on aircraft. 

There were approximately 161,000 jobs in this field as of 2022. These professionals typically work in hangars, repair stations, or on airfields. The median annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians was $70,010 in May 2022, while the median annual wage for avionics technicians was $75,450.

The job outlook for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is stable, with overall employment projected to grow 4% from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 12,800 openings for these professionals are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

To work as an aircraft maintenance, individuals can pursue certification programs, enroll in aviation college courses, or gain practical experience through apprenticeships.

aircraft and avionics equipment mechanic

Computer Support Specialists:

Computer support specialists maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users. 

As of 2022, there were approximately 914,100 jobs in this field. These specialists play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of computer systems across various industries. 

The median annual wage for computer network support specialists was $68,050 in May 2022, while the median annual wage for computer user support specialists was $57,890.

Overall employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 5% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. About 66,500 new openings for computer support specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

To work as a computer technician, individuals can pursue specialized training programs available on online platforms or go for college courses. 

Medical Equipment Repairers

Medical equipment repairers are tasked with installing, maintaining, and repairing patient care equipment. As of 2022, there were 66,400 positions in this field. The employment outlook for medical equipment repairers is strong, with a projected 13 per cent growth from 2022 to 2032, significantly faster than the average for all occupations.

An average of about 7,300 openings for medical equipment repairers are expected each year. Employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree in biomedical technology or engineering. Depending on their area of specialization, repairers may require a bachelor’s degree, particularly for career advancement.

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians are responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing vehicles and machinery used in industries such as construction and farming. In 2022, there were approximately 234,800 jobs in this field. The employment outlook is positive, with a projected 6 per cent growth from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

On average, there are projected 21,100 job openings per year for heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians over the decade. Most technicians in this field have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers prefer candidates with postsecondary training, especially as vehicle and equipment technology advances. 

In addition to the above-mentioned fields, technicians are also in high demand in other industries such as pharmaceuticals, clinical settings, finance, and more. 

The role of technicians is diverse and essential across various sectors, highlighting the importance of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce in today's technologically advanced world.

Summary of Technician Job Outlooks

Future outlook projects the job growth over the next decade. 

summary of technician job outlooks

Overcoming Shortages and Stigmas: The Path to a Technician Boom

The shortage of trade workers in the US is multifaceted. Factors such as the perception of lower wages and the labor-intensive nature of technician, repair, installation, and maintenance jobs contribute to difficulties in retaining workers, as noted by the US Chamber of Commerce. 

Need for Upskilling:

McKinsey suggests that upskilling talent could be a solution, citing an electronics manufacturer that utilized digital twins and remote control technologies to allow technicians to operate and debug factory equipment from anywhere and nearly doubling productivity.

By upskilling, technicians can stay abreast of technological advancements, improving their efficiency and effectiveness in handling modern equipment and processes, ultimately enhancing productivity and reducing downtime. This benefits individual technicians in their careers and contributes to overall industry growth and competitiveness.

Dealing with the Stigma:

Another significant challenge that hinders the influx of new talent into these roles is the stigma associated with vocational education and trade careers. 

According to Jobber's Blue-Collar Report in 2023, 74% of respondents indicated a stigma associated with attending vocational school over a traditional four-year university, while only 7% said their parents encouraged them to pursue a college education after high school. This is what Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder of Jobber, had to say on the topic:

"While this stigma isn’t new, it is misguided. And it has real negative effects for young people being discouraged from these good careers, homeowners who rely on the trades, and the economy overall. We have to call out how misinformed the stigma against the trades is and make sure young people are aware of their options and the benefits of these in-demand and essential careers."

Practical Solutions:

Encouraging the upcoming generation to pursue technical and vocational jobs through educational campaigns that highlight the benefits and opportunities available and provide adequate training and support could lead to a substantial increase in skilled technicians entering the workforce. 

With many job openings currently available, helping bridge the gap between negative perception and reality could help meet the growing demand for technicians in various industries.

A key aspect of addressing the shortage and stigma is the need for educational institutions and policymakers to promote the value of vocational and trade careers. 

This includes providing accurate information about the earning potential and job prospects of these careers and highlighting the hands-on nature of the work, which can be appealing to many individuals. 

Offering more scholarships and financial incentives for students pursuing vocational and trade education can also help attract more people to these fields.

Another crucial step is to provide comprehensive training and support for individuals entering the technician workforce. 

This includes partnering with industry leaders to develop relevant and up-to-date curricula and offering apprenticeship programs that provide hands-on experience and mentorship opportunities. 

By ensuring that aspiring technicians have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the field, the industry can attract more talent and address the shortage of skilled workers.

Changing the perception of vocational and trade careers requires a concerted effort from the media, parents, and the broader community. 

Highlighting success stories of individuals who have pursued careers in these fields and showcasing the impact that technicians have on society can help dispel misconceptions and inspire more people to consider these careers. 

Providing opportunities for students to explore vocational and trade careers through internships, job shadowing, and career fairs can help them make informed decisions about their future.

Leveraging the Technician Boom: Empowering Gen Z and Industry

The Wall Street Journal has labeled Gen Z as the next “toolbelt generation," highlighting their potential as a workforce skilled in practical, hands-on tasks. 

To capitalize on this, industries can partner with educational institutions and online platforms to offer upskilling programs tailored to the needs of Gen Z. 

Simultaneously, aspiring technicians must explore certification programs and opportunities for growth within the field to take advantage of the current boom.

The traditional emphasis on college degrees is shifting, with a growing recognition that they may not always lead to lucrative career paths. 

A report by the Burning Glass Institute reveals that 12.8 million bachelor's degree holders are underemployed, stuck in jobs with limited prospects. 

Apprenticeship programs can be a crucial alternative in such scenarios by offering a pathway to broaden the talent base and diversify pipelines.

Apprenticeship programs help close skills gaps and provide a means to diversify talent pools. Individuals from low-income backgrounds and communities of color, often underrepresented among college graduates, can benefit from these programs. 

By nurturing internal talent, employers can expand the pool of qualified workers for high-demand jobs while enhancing racial and gender diversity in higher-paying roles.

Several solutions can be implemented to train a diverse, young aspirant base in technician roles. 

  • First, industries can collaborate with educational institutions to develop specialized training programs tailored to the needs of aspiring technicians

These programs must focus on providing hands-on experience, technical skills development, and mentorship opportunities.

  • Second, offering apprenticeship programs can be an effective strategy. These programs provide valuable on-the-job training and help bridge the gap between education and employment

By partnering with community organizations and vocational schools, industries can attract a diverse pool of candidates and provide them with the necessary skills to succeed in technician roles.

  • Third, promoting awareness and changing perceptions about technician careers among Gen Z is crucial. Industries can engage in outreach activities, such as career fairs, workshops, and informational sessions, to educate young aspirants about the benefits and opportunities available in technician roles

Highlighting success stories of individuals pursuing technician careers can inspire others to follow suit.

Navigate the Technician Boom with Unmudl

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