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Emergency Road Service Careers: Job Options and Requirements

A career in emergency road service requires little or no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

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Those seeking a career in emergency road service can choose from such jobs as emergency road service technician, emergency road service dispatcher, or emergency road service supervisor. All positions require only a high school diploma, although some employers prefer a postsecondary degree for emergency road service supervisor positions. The job growth outlook is slower than average to about average for these three positions.

Essential Information

Emergency road service professionals assist individuals with unexpected automotive needs. Insurance companies, auto discount clubs and tow companies are common employers for these individuals. Possible emergency road service positions include technician, dispatcher and supervisor. Little to no formal education is needed for emergency road service careers, though many employers require candidates to have a clean driving record and knowledge of automotive repair.

Career Emergency Road Service Technician Emergency Road Service Dispatcher Emergency Road Service Supervisor
Required Education High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent though some employers prefer a postsecondary degree
Other Requirements National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is recommended; Must possess a clean driving record and pass a background check Computer and typing skills may be required by some employers Must be able to pass a background check and drug test, knowledge of safety protocol preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% (for automotive service technicians and mechanics) 4% (for all dispatchers except police, fire and ambulance) 5% (for all first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers)
Median Salary (2015)* $37,850 (for automotive service technicians and mechanics) $37,150 (for all dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance $63,010 (for all first line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Requirements

Emergency Road Service Technician

Emergency road service technicians aid customers who are in need of tire changes, battery assistance, lockout assistance and towing. They are usually on call and work irregular hours; they may work during evening hours, weekends or holidays.

Career Requirements

According to job searches on CareerBuilder.com in November 2010, a potential emergency road service technician must possess an excellent driving record as well as be able to pass a background check. Prospective technicians typically need knowledge of basic automotive repair and towing procedures. Some employers may also prefer to hire emergency road service technicians who have earned National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job growth rate for automotive service technicians and mechanics (www.bls.gov) is expected to be 5% from 2014 to 2024. These technicians earned a median annual salary of $37,850 as of May 2015, the BLS said.

Emergency Road Service Dispatcher

Emergency road service dispatchers help customers get the proper roadside assistance. They may also be known as emergency road service counselors or call receivers. Duties include answering customer calls and dispatching technicians. Emergency road service dispatchers may perform other clerical duties as assigned.

Career Requirements

Also according to CareerBuilder.com job postings, a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is usually all that's needed for this job; however, some employers may prefer to hire individuals who have previous customer service or telephone work experience. Call receivers also typically need computer and typing skills. They should be able to work irregular work hours, such as weekends and holidays, as well as know how to prioritize assignments.

In May 2015 the BLS stated that dispatchers, excluding police, fire and ambulance but including those that dispatched service vehicles, earned a median annual salary of $37,150 with a 4% job growth rate expected between 2014 and 2024.

Emergency Road Service Supervisor

Emergency road service supervisors are responsible for hiring, training and coordinating the schedules of other staff members. Duties also include distributing the proper tools and supplies to staff. Emergency road service supervisors may also assist emergency road service technicians in a minor capacity in delivering fuel, changing tires or jump starting vehicles.

Career Requirements

Emergency road service supervisors generally need a mechanical background, the ability to manage fleet equipment and knowledge of safety procedures. Typically, they must also pass a criminal background check and drug test. Emergency road services employers might prefer to hire or promote individuals with a postsecondary degree, though a high school diploma may be the minimum requirement.

As of May 2015, the BLS shows that automotive repair and maintenance supervisors earned a median annual salary of $63,010. The highest salaries were earned in Alaska, Wyoming, and New York. The BLS also reports a potential job growth of 5% for this career between 2014 and 2024.

Positions in emergency road service generally require little education, although those seeking supervisory positions may need a degree. All positions require mechanical aptitude working with cars. Dispatchers and service technicians median annual salary is around $37,000, while supervisors earned around $63,000.

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