Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wheel Alignment Technician and Brake Technician Training Combined in Hands-on Approach

All the skills you need to become either a wheel alignment technician or brake technician — or both — can be attained at Centennial College’s Alignment and Brake Technician offering. As such, graduates of this offering go on to work at vehicle and parts manufacturers, dealers, garage retailers, governments, corporations with their own fleets and in self-employment

But how does this alignment technician and brake technician-focused program get students from novices to field-ready professionals? First and foremost, the training consists of three training periods of 1,800 hours with an employer; and two eight-week college sessions. This program length proves to be longer than that of a traditional apprenticeship, resulting in more in-depth knowledge about the wheel and steering and braking systems in relation to vehicle control and stability than students would obtain in a traditional apprenticeship.

Secondly, during the time they spend on campus attending wheel alignment technician and brake technician courses, students are trained by instructors with field experience, which allows them to advise students and share their own experiences. Thirdly, all alignment technician and brake technician topics are taught through theory and hands-on practice. This occurs from Centennial College’s Ashontee Campus, which is the biggest automotive training centre in the country. Specific courses within this offering include: Work Practices, Suspension & Steering Systems, Tires, Wheels, Hubs & Alignment; and Brake Systems.

Skills that those with an interest in becoming a wheel alignment technician obtain include: repairing or replacing defective ball joint suspensions, braking shoes, or wheel bearings; aligning wheels, axles, frames, torsion bars, and steering mechanisms of automobiles; using special alignment equipment and wheel-balancing machines; and more. Meanwhile, among the skills a future brake technician learns are are: performing diagnostic tests and determining common brake problems, repairing and replacing brakes, and performing routine brake maintenance. Both types of professionals may also be required to test drive customer vehicles.

After attending alignment technician and brake technician courses, students apply what they have learned by spending time with their employers.

To apply for the alignment technician and brake technician course at Centennial College, you are required to possess at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent. In addition, you must currently be employed as an apprentice in the field. You cannot apply directly to the College or ontariocolleges.ca for admission to this apprenticeship program. For general information about apprenticeship registration, please contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. It is also important to note that wheel alignment technicians and brake technicians who take the program and are already working in the field, may be eligible to qualify for income support through Employment Insurance Canada benefits or training allowance while they perform their in-school alignment technician and brake technician sessions.

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