DELRAY, Fla. – With the constant evolution of technology, being a mechanic takes on new meaning. In addition to knowing his or her way under the hood of a car, today’s mechanics, more accurately referred to as technicians, must also be aware of the technological components of 21st Century automobiles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technicians are in demand. The nation will need more than 1.2 million automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine service technicians by 2022. This means an average of more than 37,000 job openings every year to help meet the need.

Local South Florida students and parents were afforded a unique opportunity to explore the future of the automotive service industry on June 11 at Future Tech at Mercedes-Benz of Delray Beach. Universal Technical Institute of Orlando (UTI-Orlando) partnered with the dealership for the second consecutive year to expose guests to the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in automotive careers and offer a close-up view of the day in the life of a luxury brand auto technician.

Because technology is dynamic and ever changing technicians no longer have the traditional “greasyhands” lifestyle. Dealerships such as Mercedes-Benz of Delray have a shortage in trained technicians leading to having to wait 1.5 years for techs to graduate from school to be eligible for employment. This demand has led to them having to host events such as Future Tech to educate potential students with the hopes of recruiting them.

At the most recent Future Tech event presented by UTI-Orlando, guests were able to interact with UTI-Orlando graduates, who are now employed at Mercedes-Benz to hear their life stories and what to expect after graduation. They were also able to participate in repair demos and check out the latest industry technologies. The event resulted in several local residents enrolling into UTI to begin their education at the campus located in Orlando.