Since he was a kid, Dakari Buchanan has had an interest in cars. 

“Hot Wheels, I had family that worked on cars, 'Fast and the Furious,' that's my favorite show,” said Buchanan, a senior at Edison Career and Technology High School in Rochester. 

It's a passion he lives every day. 

“Coming to Edison and getting to work on cars and stuff it actually kind of finalized and made me think, like, this is what I want to do,” he said. 

It's bringing him into an industry that is expected to see a lot of growth over the next few years as the United States faces a shortage of automotive technicians, especially those specializing in diesel, experts say. 

“With all the trucks that are on the road and all the generators that are used in different industries, there’s definitely a need for more and more techs. I mean not just diesel techs, across the board, there’s a need for skilled technicians in the field,” said Robert Newell, an automotive instructor at Edison Tech. 

“We’re 80,000 shy now, but they’re anticipating by 2030 to be 120,000 shy technician-wise across the United States,” said Rusty Stetzel, workforce development coordinator for the Trucking Association of New York.

One of the most appealing parts of the industry for students is the number of jobs available. 

“There's a growth in the industry and a need for techs so if they realize that they can get a job and it pays well, then they get into that,” Newell said. 

And for Buchanan, another draw is the hands-on experience.

“Right now, I’m replacing rotors and pads, just breaks pretty much,” he said as he worked on a car during one of his classes. “I think I’m more of a physical worker, so I like working with my hands. I’d prefer not to sit and do something I don’t enjoy like a desk job. I’d rather work with my hands.”

Schools like Edison are giving students a push into the industry. 

“The start here is to give them the preliminaries ... basic battery and how it functions, electrical dials, fuses. Those kinds of things are what we’re really looking for the school to do,” Stetzel said. 

It's an industry Buchanan’s younger self would have loved being a part of.

“Based on everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve done, everything I’ve accomplished, I think my younger self would definitely be proud of me right now,” he said.