Trucking’s other labor shortage: Unlocking solutions through benchmarking diesel technician pay — plus other strategies your fleet can use

While trucking’s focus on talent acquisition and retention historically has largely revolved around professional truck drivers, that’s not the only shortage of skilled workers facing for-hire carriers and private fleets. Trucking also is contending with a dearth of professional diesel technicians, which has only grown more severe in the turbulent labor market over the past four years.

Interest in technician pay benchmarking has swelled at The National Transportation Institute in recent years, including survey demand doubling last year for technician pay benchmarking reports as the challenge to hire and retain diesel technicians continues to become more difficult for trucking fleets of all types.

The shortage of skilled technicians goes beyond causing downtime. It contributes to driver dissatisfaction due to loss of productivity and earnings, customer attrition due to inability to meet capacity commitments, and lost revenue for your company due to out-of-service equipment. As a result, benchmarking technician pay and benefits has become an indispensable element in the recruiting and retention strategies of fleets.

How can your fleet attract and retain professional diesel technicians in today’s environment?
  • Start with benchmarking. To attract and retain qualified technicians, it’s essential to make sure your fleet’s pay and benefits align in the markets you operate. NTI’s National Survey of Technician Wages can be an invaluable resource for making critical compensation decisions. Covering hundreds of locations across the U.S, NTI’s National Survey of Technician Wages provides detailed, location-based survey results based on verified hourly and W2 earnings for the wages, incentives, and activity pay of technicians by experience level, job description, and credentials.
  • Partner with local high schools and community colleges to establish a talent pipeline. Ensuring a future influx of young technicians to your fleet requires active engagement with local technician programs today. Consider donating equipment or establishing scholarships and internships to show your support. Also, be active in your community and with marketing in the right areas in your hiring markets to show young people the value of a career in trucking as a diesel technician.
  • Spotlight women technicians. Highlighting success stories of women thriving in the field can help break stereotypes and draw in a more diverse talent pool. Similar to attracting younger generations, find the right marketing channels in your hiring markets to reach women and show them how fantastic careers as diesel techs are at your company.


To leverage the actionable data offered by the National Survey of Technician Wages, schedule a meeting with the NTI team. ⬇️


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On the first Thursday of every month, NTI President & CEO Leah Shaver, aka the Sunshine Girl, goes live on air on SiriusXM Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking, to talk with drivers about all things pay. From paycheck questions to working with fleets on resolving issues around compensation, HR and legal, life on the road, and relationships with their employers, Payday on Road Dog Live dives into topics drivers care about most.

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