Learning Zone

How to become a fleet manager

By Ellen Sowerby
25 January 2021

When leaving school or considering a change of a career, becoming a fleet manager doesn’t usually come top of the list.

It’s one of those roles that people often fall into, and although no set qualifications are needed for entry, work-based learning, skills training and higher education courses are available to support your career progression.


The academic route has the options of further and higher education courses. There are a few university degree courses that you may consider as your entry route into fleet management, like Automotive Management at Ferris State University.  Such courses will provide you with the managerial, communications and technical skills needed to fulfil such a role.

Alternatively, having industry-recognized qualifications such as NAFA’s CAFM program,  can help you fast-track your career. These courses bridge the gap between education and workplace requirements.


An apprenticeship scheme could be the ideal entry route. Apprenticeships provide on the spot training while at work, earning a salary.

Alternatively, consider joining an organization at a lower level to gain a good level of understanding of the industry. Make your intentions clear during job reviews that you wish to progress in the industry, and never be afraid to put yourself forward for opportunities and experiences to further this.

Once in post, there are industry-specific qualifications in transport through the North American Transportation Management Institute who run many courses such as Motor Fleet Safety Basics.

Skills you need to become a fleet manager

Ability to multitask:

It’s one of those roles that you really do need to be able to think on your feet. It can be a fast-paced role and at times, not for the fainthearted.

Adaptable to change:

In the ever-changing world of fleet, fleet managers need to be adaptable to change such as the introduction of new technology and legislation. It’s a continuous process of being aware of changes, understanding how they will impact your fleet and the best ways in which you can implement them.

Excellent communication skills:

It goes without saying, any internal or external changes that affect the business need to be communicated to the fleet. Choosing the most appropriate communication channels and ensuring that the correct messages are received is a skill. Getting this right can make all the difference in securing that all-important buy-in from the staff which helps with the smooth integration of changes.

A team player, and leader:

The team will often look to you for guidance which makes it so important to be a good team leader, inspiring confidence and trust throughout. The ability to quickly analyze information, solve problems and decide on the correct course of action is critical in this role.

Click here to read part 2 of this blog.

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