More equipment technicians moving on as they get older

News AED June 24, 2003
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Retirement of equipment technicians may interfere with construction equipment dealers' reliance on product support services to

Retirement of equipment technicians may interfere with construction equipment dealers' reliance on product support services to boost profitability.


Dealers that sell, rent and service construction machinery will see slightly more than 2,000 technicians retire in the next five years, according to a recent study by The AED Foundation. That amounts to about 7.5% of the estimated 26,400 technicians now working for 1,100 independent equipment dealers in the U.S., the study showed.


However, the number of retirements through 2007 could be considerably larger. Expecting technicians to retire at 62 or 65 may be deceiving because not many of them stay on the job after 56, the study revealed. While more than 10% of the industry's equipment technicians are 51 to 56 years of age, fewer than 6% of them are 57 or older, an indication that many retire early or change careers.


The average age of a construction equipment technician in the U.S. is 45 years, five months, according to survey results. The Foundation's Workforce Development department, an affiliate of the Associated Equipment Distributors that studies the industry's personnel shortages, is helping dealers with recruitment services to get younger men and women into technical careers.


The largest number of technicians, almost 42% (11,000), are in the 41-50 age category. Almost 24% are between the ages of 31 and 40, with slightly over 18% falling into the 30 or younger bracket, according to the survey.


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