Tim York is a mobile fitter for a windscreen business. He works from a fully-equipped van and travels to customers' vehicles to remove broken glass and replace it, whether it is a front windscreen, side window or rear window.
How many repairs do you make during a typical day?
I'm usually allocated five or six jobs a day. Each job sheet details the type of glass needed, the location and the name of the customer. I have to make sure I've got all the various types of glass and the materials I need to do the jobs.
Do you have your own van?
Yes. I carry out basic checks on it each day to ensure it is roadworthy. After loading it up and doing a quick check of the tyre pressure, oil and water, I am ready to go. At the end of the day, I return to the fitting centre to clean out my van, dispose of the old glass and hand the completed job sheets to the fitting centre manager.
What kind of equipment do you use to replace glass?
I use a variety of automotive glazing equipment which includes cutting tools, chemicals, chisels and hammers.
What hours do you work?
My main hours are from 8.30am to 5.30pm, but there is some out-of-hours work which is optional.
What was your route into this job as a windscreen fitter?
I began working as an inspection officer, checking turbine blades at the end of the production line. Unfortunately, I was made redundant. I saw an advert in my local paper advertising for fitters at a windscreen business and applied.
What did the interview process involve?
I passed the one-day assessment which involved two interviews, group presentation and a psychometric evaluation test.
What training have you had?
I spent my first week at the company's Automotive Glazing Development Centre learning the theory of glass repair and replacement. I then spent three weeks at a fitting centre doing further training, going out with a trainer and completing actual jobs under supervision.
Do you deal with any unusual jobs?
On one occasion, we received a call from an extremely distressed lady who had a brick thrown at her windscreen while she was driving on the motorway. She didn't know the area or where she was, so the call centre phoned me on my mobile and we had a three-way conference call to direct me to find her on the motorway.
Why did you choose this type of work?
I really enjoy working with my hands. I also like the fact that as a mobile fitter, I am essentially my own boss.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy the variety and meeting new people. I get to work on all kinds of cars from white vans to Ferraris.
Are there any disadvantages to your job?
As a mobile fitter, you are at the mercy of the weather and with some jobs there is little or no cover. A windscreen replacement can't be completed in the rain as water can affect the glue. If it begins to rain after I have removed a damaged windscreen, I have to stop and wait until it has finished raining before I can complete the job.
What are the skills and qualities needed to become a windscreen fitter?
You need to have common sense, determination and self-motivation.
- A levels.
- Foundation Degree in Science.
- NVQ Level 2 in Automotive Glazing.
- Now undertaking NVQ Level 3 in Automotive Glazing.
- Believe in yourself.
- Always be committed to your job.
Windscreen fitter related jobs
- Auto electrician
- Car valet
- Motor vehicle body repairer/refinisher/builder
- Motor vehicle mechanic/technician
- Tyre/exhaust fitter
- Vehicle breakdown engineer
- Vehicle parts operative
Salary of a windscreen fitter
- Salaries for qualified fitters range from £12,000 to £20,000.
- Many organisations provide a van for the sole use of the fitter.
Becoming a windscreen fitter
- Most opportunities for trainee windscreen fitters exist with one of the national automotive glazing companies who offer their own internal training schemes, including Apprenticeships.
- Formal academic qualifications are not always necessary, although a driving licence is usually required.
- It is important to be fit and healthy to cope with a great deal of outdoor work. Some windscreens can be heavy to lift.
- Companies often encourage their fitters to work towards NVQs/SVQs in Automotive Glazing at Levels 2 and 3.
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