Tow Truck Dispatcher
Tow Truck Dispatcher
Education and Training High school
Salary Median—$30,920 per year
Employment Outlook Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Tow truck dispatchers take calls for emergency service, relay the requests to local service stations or towing companies, and monitor the progress of the tow. Using computer-aided dispatch systems, they keep records and prepare detailed reports of all emergency calls and all communications with towing services.
Dispatchers usually stay in touch with drivers on the road, using phones, computers, or two-way radios, so they can solve problems and answer questions. For example, they can tell drivers which routes to take to avoid traffic jams. Dispatchers work for municipal governments, state or city police departments, the American Automobile Association (AAA), or private towing companies.
Education and Training Requirements
Tow truck dispatchers usually have high school diplomas or the equivalent. They must be organized and able to work well under pressure. Clerical or customer service experience can be valuable. New dispatchers get on-the-job training.
Getting the Job
Job seekers can apply directly to municipal governments, police departments, AAA, or private towing companies. Some tow truck drivers and clerical workers get promoted to dispatcher. Newspaper classified ads and Internet job sites may provide employment leads.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Dispatchers have few advancement opportunities. Some move to supervisory or administrative positions. Others start their own towing companies.
Employment of dispatchers is expected to increase as fast as the average for all jobs through 2014. The increasing number of cars on the road should mean more job opportunities. Openings occur when experienced dispatchers retire or leave the field.
Dispatchers must work well under pressure and respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently. They usually work in offices or call centers.
Forty-hour weeks are standard; however, when emergencies occur or the workload is particularly heavy, they may be expected to put in extra hours. Night, weekend, and holiday shifts may be required.
Earnings and Benefits
In 2004 the median salary for tow truck dispatchers was $30,920 per year. The most experienced workers earned more than $52,440 per year.
Where to Go for More Information
American Trucking Associations
2200 Mill Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22314-4677
Towing and Recovery Association of America
2121 Eisenhower Ave., Ste. 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
Benefits include paid vacations and holidays. Most companies offer retirement plans and life and health insurance.