Sunday, December 26, 2010

As an Alignment and Brake Technician You Play a Role in the Safety of Drivers

When we get in our car to drive to the grocery store, pick up a loved one from the airport, drive our kids to school or head out for a night on the town, the last thing most of us think about is whether our brakes and steering wheel are working. The only time when these thoughts do cross our minds is in extreme weather conditions such as rain or snow. However, there is someone who constantly thinks about whether our brakes and steering are in top-notch shape. That person is the experienced Alignment and Brake Technician at our dealership or local mechanic shop.

However, before this person can get into the field and specialize as an alignment technician, brake technician or wheel alignment technician, he or she must obtain an automotive education. At Centennial College, students can take the Alignment and Brake Technician apprenticeship, during which they gain in-depth knowledge of the wheel and steering systems and their relation to vehicle control and stability. To apply, students must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent. They must also be employed as an apprenticeship. Lastly, students cannot apply directly to the college or for admission. To learn more about the application process, check out the Alignment Technician admission requirements page.

Aside from the relation of the wheel and steering to vehicle control, students also learn service and repair for a variety of braking systems. The program is broken down into three training periods of 1,800 hours with an employer and two eight-week college sessions. The in-school portion of the Alignment and Brake Technician program is geared to on-the-job learning to ensure that students are well trained to get their dream job upon completion. Helping students to become qualified professionals are professors who possess up-to-date experience and knowledge of the industry. In addition, during their time studying to be an alignment technician, brake technician and wheel alignment technician, students may be eligible to qualify for income support through Employment Insurance Canada benefits or training allowance.

Alignment and Brake Technicians find work with: vehicle and parts manufacturers, dealers, garage retailers, governments, corporations with their own fleets and through self-employment. In their role, they are responsible for making sure that the braking system and steering wheels in vehicles meet appropriate safety standards. Specifics tasks of these alignment technicians include: providing service that includes operating equipment such as grinders, brake lathes and bleeders, hoists, alignment machines, strut compressors, air guns, bearing packers, and installing brakes, shocks, struts and front end parts. They are also required to test drive customer vehicles.

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