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How to become a Vehicle Breakdown Engineer

vehicle breakdown engineer careers

What does a Vehicle Breakdown Engineer do?

Vehicle breakdown engineers, also known as roadside recovery/assistance technicians, attend to people whose vehicles have broken down. Vehicle owners notify an emergency call centre, who in turn contact the breakdown engineer, passing on relevant information such as the location of the breakdown and the nature of the fault.

On arrival the engineer examines the vehicle, asks the motorist for a description of what happened and attempts to diagnose the fault. If possible, they carry out repairs at the roadside. If major repair work is required, they tow or transport the vehicle to a garage, or arrange for this to be done.

Patrols carry engine spare parts, and a full tool kit, which can be used to check for mechanical, electrical or electronic faults. They may use computer fault diagnosis equipment as part of their job. Administrative records are kept for each job.

What's the working environment like working as a Vehicle Breakdown Engineer?

Most engineers work a 24-hour shift system, including weekends. Overtime is often available.They drive and work outdoors in all weather conditions. Protective overalls, high-visibility clothing and a vehicle are usually provided.

What does it take to become a Vehicle Breakdown Engineer?

As a vehicle breakdown engineer, you should:

  • have a thorough mechanical and technical knowledge to enable you to work with all makes of vehicle
  • have good practical skills
  • have good driving skills
  • have good customer care skills
  • be able to work alone
  • be physically fit with normal colour vision
  • have an awareness of health and safety issues
  • have basic computer skills for diagnostic equipment and updating records.

Vehicle Breakdown Engineer Career Opportunities

Patrols are employed by companies offering vehicle breakdown and recovery services. Other companies contract or franchise garages to provide breakdown services, so similar patrol work may be available with local garages.

Increasing car ownership and travel has led to a growth in demand for breakdown services. There are opportunities for qualified staff in most areas of the country. Promotion prospects would normally lead to supervisory, managerial or training posts.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Vehicle Breakdown Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Automotive Skills
93 Newman Street
London
W1T 3DT
Tel: 0800 093 1777
www.automotiveskills.org.uk

The Institute of the Motor Industry
Fanshaws
Brickendon
Hertford
SG13 8PQ
Tel: 01992 511521
www.motor.org.uk

Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA)
www.automotivetechnician.org.uk