Automotive brake technicians inspect, maintain, diagnose and repair braking, steering and suspension systems as well as wheels and tyres.
Automotive brake technicians typically do the following:
- Identify problems, often by using computerized diagnostic equipment
- Plan work procedures, using charts, technical manuals, and experience
- Test parts and systems to ensure that they work properly
- Follow checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
- Perform basic care and maintenance, including changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tires
- Repair or replace worn parts, such as brake pads, wheel bearings, and sensors
- Perform repairs to manufacturer and customer specifications
- Explain automotive problems and repairs to clients
Service technicians stand for most of the day, and they typically work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops. Although technicians often identify and fix automotive problems with computers, they commonly work with greasy parts and tools, sometimes in uncomfortable positions.
Most service technicians work full time, and many work evenings or weekends. Overtime is common.
Injuries and Illnesses
Automotive service technicians and mechanics frequently work with heavy parts and tools. As a result, workplace injuries, such as small cuts, sprains, and bruises, are common.
The following job titles also refer to automotive brake technician:
automotive braking systems repair technician
automotive braking systems diagnostic technician
lorry brake technician
car brake technician
automotive braking systems technician
truck brake technician
High school courses in automotive repair, electronics, computers, and mathematics provide a good background for prospective automotive brake technicians. However, high school graduates typically need further training to become fully qualified.
Service technicians who have graduated from postsecondary programs in automotive service technology generally require little on-the-job training.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Automotive brake technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Automotive brake technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to automotive brake technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of automotive brake technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of automotive brake technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of automotive brake technician.
- Automotive diagnostic equipment: The equipment used to examine automotive systems and components.
- Mechanics of motor vehicles: The way energy forces interact and affect components in motor vehicles such as cars, buses, invalid carriages and other motorised vehicles.
- Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of automotive brake technician.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Use automotive diagnostic equipment: Use diagnostic equipment to perform test on motor vehicles, components and systems to detect defects.
- Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
- Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
- Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
- Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of automotive brake technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Vehicle electrical systems: Know vehicle electrical systems, including components such as the battery, starter, and alternator. The battery provides energy to the starter. The alternator provides the battery the energy it requires to power the vehicle. Understand the interplay of these components to resolve malfunctions.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of automotive brake technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Replace tyres: Replace worn out or broken tyres of motor vehicles by using hand and power tools. Choose new tyres according to customer requirements and motor vehicle model.
- Inspect worn tyres: Evaluate the worn tyres and check at possible damages (cuts, cracks, etc) in order to determine possible retread.
- Maintain braking system: Maintain the system that stops motor vehicles and bicycles. Identify problems such as leakages. Make repairs if necessary by using hand and power tools.
- Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
- Inspect repaired tyres: Inspect the rebuffed and fully vulcanized tyres in order to detect if any flaws are still present.
- Prepare tyres for vulcanization: Prepare tyres for vulcanization by building semi-raw rubber treads onto the already buffed tyre casings.
- Rebuff tyre: Use abrasive tools to grind the old tyre and to remove the worn tread, brush or spray a rubber solution to join the new and the old material, and fix the new tread or piece of tread.
- Maintain motor vehicle steering system: Maintain the system that allows motor vehicles to be directed towards a desired route through steering wheel linkages by using hand and power tools. Make repairs if necessary.
- Maintain suspension system: Maintain the system that creates the motion of wheels of motor vehicles such as shock absorbers, springs and linkages. Repair them if necessary by using hand and power tools.
- Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
- Advise customers on motor vehicles: Provide customer advice on motor vehicles, and possible options and accessories; communicate clearly and politely.
ISCO group and title
7231 – Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers
- Automotive brake technician – ESCO
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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