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Career Definition for a Brake Repair Technician
Common duties of someone working in automotive brake repair include performing diagnostic tests and determining common brake problems, repairing and replacing brakes, and performing routine brake maintenance. Brake repairers may specialize in a specific braking system, such as front-end or 4-wheel drive. Brake repair technicians may find job opportunities at automotive shops, automobile dealers, and auto parts stores.
|Education||Certificate or associate degree in automotive service technology preferred|
|Job Skills||Technical, mechanical, and analytical skills needed for troubleshooting, communication skills needed for teamwork|
|Median Salary (2015)||$37,850 for automotive service technicians and mechanics|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||5% for automotive service technicians and mechanics|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employers typically seek brake repair technicians who hold a certificate or an associate's degree in automotive service technology from a vocational-technical school or community college. Certificate programs typically last about six months to one year, while an associate's degree program usually takes two years to complete. Courses include automotive brake systems, steering and suspension, electrical systems, maintenance, and basic auto service.
In addition to coursework, brake repair technicians may complete hands-on training through cooperative work or internship programs. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is also available in brakes. To earn certification, students must pass a brakes test, which is one of eight tests available from ASE for automobiles and light trucks.
Brake repair technicians must possess the technical, mechanical, and analytical skills to troubleshoot and solve brake problems. They also must have good communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) projected average growth in the employment of automotive service technicians from 2014 to 2024, an increase of 5%, noting that those with the most training and/or experience will more easily compete for jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS published the median annual salary of automotive repair technicians, including specialists such as brake repair technicians, as $37,850 in May 2015.
Alternate Career Options
Here are some other choices for careers in automotive service:
Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic
A diesel service mechanic keeps trucks, buses, and other vehicles with diesel engines running well. Duties include checking the engine, brakes, transmission, exhaust systems, electronics, and other parts, along with making repairs or replacing parts as needed. Diesel mechanics also take care of tasks like oil changes. Even though it's possible to get a job with just a high school diploma, diesel mechanics may have an easier time if they've completed a postsecondary education program. They may also earn industry certification in multiple areas from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. According to the BLS, diesel mechanics can look forward to job growth of 12% from 2014-2024; this occupation paid a median salary of $44,520 in 2015.
Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technician
Heavy mechanics use their certificate or associate's degree training to fix construction, farm, mining, and related vehicles. They work on engines, transmissions, fuel lines, and more. Employers may accept a minimum of a high school diploma, although they often prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program. Manufacturer certification is also available. The BLS reports that heavy mechanics can expect fast as average job growth of 5% from 2014-2024; the agency also reported that heavy mechanics earned median pay of $47,120 in 2015.