Technician Licensing: The Consumer Perspective
We are all consumers, but what we want as a consumer and what we know as an auto glass professional or shop owner may be two different things. Some may think that licensing technicians will raise prices due to higher labor costs, while others will look at the licensed technician as a true professional and have higher expectations of the completed job. The fact of the matter is that both are right.
Licensing technicians will result in somewhat higher costs in the long run because licensed auto glass technicians would then become harder to find. In states with licensing requirements, technicians will have to go through training, apprenticeship and testing that costs money and time. The technician or employer will have to pay fees for the privilege of doing business in a state. Those costs will have to be passed on to consumers to remain profitable and stay in business. So, yes, the cost of a windshield installation will go up. How much may be difficult to predict, but it will increase.
However, as consumers, the assurance that the job is done right is a strong incentive to support licensing. We put our families and friends in our vehicles and it is important to make sure that the vehicles we drive are safe and secure. We, as consumers, want our choices in service providers to be the correct. If we can eliminate the questions involved with choosing the right auto glass replacement company via licensing, we will take that assurance. Wouldn’t it be easier if the only decision that needed to be made was “Is the installer licensed and certified?”
Sites like Angie’s List, Yelp and Trip Adviser have become popular because the consumer does not want to make a bad decision. Shoppers increasingly look for reviews and advice before they choose a product or service. By licensing and certifying technicians we will help the consumer make the right choice and improve the chances of a safe installation. To me, this sounds like a win/win situation.
If you think that I lean more in favor of licensing technicians than away from it, you would be right. However, there is good licensing and bad licensing. As I alluded to in earlier posts, bad state licensing exists to provide revenue only. Good state licensing produces better service and safety to the consumer. The problem in many states is that bad licensing is easier to get through state legislatures; it is revenue producing and there is less work needed to implement. Good licensing bills will take more work so the chances of passage may be less likely. It will take a concerted effort by the AGR Industry to bring about a good state licensing program, but I think it would be worth it.