Motor Vehicle Breakdown Engineer

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Automotive & Aviation

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • respond to breakdown calls from the control centre
  • make sure the vehicle, driver and passengers are safe
  • examine the vehicle to find and diagnose the fault
  • carry out roadside repairs
  • tow or transport the vehicle to a garage if major repair work is needed
  • arrange transport for the driver of the broken down vehicle
  • complete record sheets for each job


You’ll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to repair systems
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course before applying for work as a trainee with a garage or breakdown company.

In the UK, for example, relevant courses include:

  • Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Competence
  • Diploma in Vehicle Technology
  • Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing


You can get into this career by completing a motor vehicle service and maintenance technician advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes around 36 months to complete as a mix of learning on the job and study.

Direct Application

You can apply directly to become a breakdown engineer. You’ll need experience and qualifications in motor vehicle maintenance and repair to do this.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 42-44 hours of work. You should be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays on shifts.

You could work at a garage, from a vehicle or on call-out to wherever the car owner is. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you’ll travel often. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

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