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Motor vehicle breakdown engineer Roadside recovery technician, roadside assistance technician

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Motor vehicle breakdown engineers help people whose vehicles have broken down.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • a driving licence, and an LGV licence for some work
  • experience of working in a garage
  • knowledge of electrical and ignition systems
  • a motor vehicle maintenance qualification

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Institute of the Motor Industry has more information on apprenticeships.

Autocity has more information on becoming a motor vehicle breakdown engineer.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills
  • excellent customer service and communications skills
  • the ability to remain calm in difficult circumstances
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work on patrol and attend vehicle breakdowns.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • making sure the vehicle, driver and passengers are safe
  • examining the vehicle to find and diagnose the fault
  • carrying out roadside repairs
  • towing or transporting the vehicle to a garage if major repair work is needed
  • filling in record sheets for each job

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £28,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £40,000

Your salary may increase with shifts and overtime.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work on a 24-hour shift system, including weekends.

You’ll repair vehicles outdoors in all weather conditions. 

You’ll wear protective overalls and high-visibility clothing.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager, or move into training.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018