A tyre or exhaust fitter removes and replaces worn or damaged tyres or exhausts.
You could be:
changing tyres or exhausts or both
checking tyres and exhaust systems for defects
deflating tyres, changing them using a jack, hand-held tools and machinery, and inflating the replacement tyres
balancing and re-aligning tyres using lead weights and measuring equipment
raising a vehicle on ramps or driving it over a pit so that you can get underneath to work on it
using hand and power tools to replace faulty exhaust parts
replacing batteries and shock absorbers and fixing suspension faults
tuning engines, diagnosing faults and MOT testing
advising customers what work needs to be done to make their vehicle roadworthy.
You may specialise in a particular type of vehicle:
light vehicle tyre or exhaust fitter – working with cars, vans and motorcycles
heavy vehicle tyre or exhaust fitter – working with lorries, trucks, buses and coaches.
In larger companies, you may be able to specialise in a particular make of vehicle.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demands for the job.
Starting salaries may be based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). At present the apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £4.81 an hour (1 April 2022). Trainee tyre or exhaust fitters can earn between £7,000 and £9,000 a year.
Newly qualified tyre or exhaust fitters may earn around £13,000 to £16,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to between £17,000 and around £25,000 a year.
You will work in garages, workshops or depots, which may be cold and draughty in winter and hot in summer. They can also be dirty and noisy.
You will probably work long hours, with frequent overtime.
You might work with a mobile unit, visiting clients' homes or workplaces to fit new tyres.
You might have to work shifts to cover nights or weekends.
Many entrants start through a Modern Apprenticeship in Automotive: Vehicle Fitting Level 2.
You do not always need formal qualifications, but many employers look for English, Maths and a science or technological subject at National 4.
You could study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Automotive (SCQF Level 4) in S3-S6, which can help to get into a relevant Modern Apprenticeship.
You will usually have to take an aptitude test for entry.
Some entrants start by doing a full time college course and then go on to do an apprenticeship.
You must be very fit, as this is an extremely active job involving heavy lifting and working in awkward positions.
Many employers will require you to have a driving licence.
You could work for a specialist tyre and exhaust fitting company, a general garage or for a road haulage, bus or coach company. Jobs are advertised online on websites such as Find a job (previously Universal Jobmatch), and through Jobcentre Plus offices.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
good with your hands
patient and methodical
pleasant and polite with customers.
You need to be able to:
work quickly and accurately
work reliably without supervision and as part of a team.
Training for a Modern Apprenticeship usually lasts three years. You would attend college or a training centre on a day or block release basis.
You would complete Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Vehicle Fitting or Specialist Tyre Fitting at SCQF Level 5.
You might attend college but go to an employer for work placements.
You may work towards the IMI Fast Fit Accreditation. This involves sitting practical exams and completing online knowledge tests. There are two levels of job roles within IMI Accreditation Fast Fit: Technician and Service Technician.
After gaining experience, you might become a supervisor or manager.
You might move on to become a trainer or instructor.
You could set up your own business.
For more information please see organisations listed below: