A fast fit technician is responsible for replacing motor vehicle components such as tyres, brakes and exhaust systems, often while the customer waits.

What are the entry requirements?

No specific formal qualifications are needed, but GCSEs, particularly in maths and English, would be beneficial. Many employers are looking for potential recruits with an NVQ Level 2 in vehicle fast-fit, which can be obtained at a number of colleges across the UK. Some larger automotive companies, such as Kwik Fit, offer apprenticeships that will equip you with the skills and qualifications needed for the job.

How do you get a job?

Many fast-fit technicians are employed after undergoing an apprenticeship with a large automotive company, which eventually leads to a full-time job. Those who study the NVQ Level 2 in vehicle fast-fit at college will need to apply to companies looking for technicians at the end of their course; these positions are normally advertised online or in trade magazines.

Is there an interview process?

Those applying for a job after leaving college will usually need to have an interview with their prospective employer.

What are the opportunities for career progression?

Once you are qualified as a fast-fit technician and have gained experience in the role, you may want to start working towards a position as a branch manager in the company that employs you. This may start out with organising a small team of other technicians or helping to train new apprentices, so you will need to demonstrate that you are motivated, reliable and able to handle responsibility. You could also look into Automobile Technical Accreditation (ATA), which is a programme designed to improve the career prospects of those working in the automotive industry. From there it is possible to take a series of practical exams and online tests with the view to becoming a master technician, which leads to greater prospects and a higher salary.

What's the salary?

Salaries for a fast-fit technician start at around £12,000 to £15,000 per year, rising to between £16,000 and £18,000 a year with additional experience.

What are the benefits?

You will be working on a variety of different vehicles and interacting with customers on a daily basis. You may find yourself working on classic cars and could even be able to join a company that specialises in servicing them.

What are the toughest parts of the job?

Replacing heavy components such as tyres and batteries can be physically demanding, and as the customer is likely to be waiting, you will need to work quickly. The company you work for may provide a service to people who need replacements at the road side, so you may be sent out in all weathers to help them.