How to Become a Fleet Maintenance Manager: Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a fleet maintenance manager. Research the training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in fleet management.

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Should I Become a Fleet Maintenance Manager?

Fleet maintenance managers oversee repair and upkeep of multiple vehicles for an organization or business. Fleets may include government vehicles, construction equipment, or tour coaches. Many fleet maintenance managers have experience in automotive repair and maintenance as a repair technician.

Fleet maintenance managers often work in private buildings and garages that house the fleet of vehicles they manage. Some time is spent in an office and some time working on the vehicles themselves, within a manager's skills set. Fleet managers usually work full-time during normal business hours, although some on-call transportation hours may be required.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degrees required by some employers; associate's degrees or certificate programs can be helpful in getting work as a mechanic
Degree Field Business, engineering, mechanics or diesel engine repair
Key Skills Good communication, decision making and time management skills; ability to work with specialized dispatch and logistics software
Experience Many employers prefer fleet managers to have several years of mechanics and/or supervisory experience
Certification Professional certification in mechanics and fleet management are both available
Salary (2016) $44,520 per year (Median salary for fleet mechanics)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O Net, Job postings, The Center for Professional Fleet Certification, Payscale.com

Step 1: Complete a Training Program or Degree

Fleet maintenance managers often begin their careers as vehicle mechanics. While it is possible to learn mechanics on the job, many employers want applicants to have some postsecondary training, which may include a certificate program or an associate's degree in mechanics.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience as a Mechanic

Employers usually prefer to hire fleet maintenance managers who have several years of experience as a fleet mechanic. While on the job, aspiring fleet maintenance managers can also gain experience in computers and budgeting. Many employers prefer fleet maintenance manager candidates who have excelled in leadership, organization, communication, inventory management and other managerial skills in past employment.

Success Tip:

  • Apply for supervisory opportunities. Individuals who aspire to be fleet managers should try to gain supervisory experience while working as mechanics, which can be helpful when applying for management jobs.

Step 3: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

While earning a bachelor's degree is not an absolute requirement for becoming a fleet maintenance manager, some larger companies require or prefer job candidates to hold the degree. Major requirements likewise vary by employer, although some schools now offer bachelor's degree programs in fleet management.

Success Tip:

  • Participate in an internship. Internships give individuals opportunities to get job experience, network and learn real-life job skills.

Step 4: Obtain Professional Certification

Employers sometimes prefer to hire fleet maintenance managers who have an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE exams are categorized by disciplines, such as alternate fuels specialist, engine machinist or advanced engine performance specialist.

Those hoping to earn certification are required to pass the exam pertaining to their area of expertise. They are also required to have two years of work experience; however, relevant formal training, such as college or an apprenticeship, may be substituted for up to one year.

The Center for Professional Fleet Certification offers the Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) credential. Earning this designation requires passing exams in eight different areas, including asset, risk and fleet information management.

Success Tip:

  • Remember to re-certify. Certification boards require the renewal of certifications on a regular basis. Recertification requirements may require completing continuing education courses or activities.
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