Tow trucks move vehicles from one place to another for necessary repairs, disposal after a serious accident, impounding by law enforcement or repossession by a lender. Tow truck drivers operate tow trucks.
A career in tow truck driving may involve working for a service station, the police or a particular automobile lender, or for a towing service that provides towing services for many different purposes. Some tow truck drivers own their vehicles and run their own towing businesses.
Success in tow truck driving careers requires the ability to drive in inclement weather and willingness to be on call at any time of the day.
There is no specific post-secondary education required for tow truck driving careers, but employers often look for applicants with high school diplomas or GEDs. Tow truck drivers who wish to run their own businesses often benefit from taking courses in business to learn how to market their services and handle finances.
Some cities or states require tow truck drivers to have a tow truck license, which typically involves having a valid non-commercial driver’s license and paying a fee. In other areas, no license beyond a non-commercial driver’s license is necessary for driving a tow truck, while operating some types of specialized heavy tow trucks may require a commercial driver’s license, which usually means passing a state-administered written and/or driving test.
The Towing and Recovery Association of America offers voluntary certification for tow truck drivers, which involves a minimum amount of experience in the field and the successful completion of a written exam.
As of December 2009, tow truck drivers averaged annual salaries of $28,000, according to Indeed.com.