Brake technicians and wheel alignment technicians find work with: vehicle and parts manufacturers, dealers, garage retailers, governments, corporations with their own fleets and through self-employment. Today’s sophisticated vehicles require specialists to maintain and repair their complex systems, and ensure that the braking system and steering wheels in vehicles meet appropriate safety standards. Therefore, among the responsibilities of brake and alignment technicians are 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.
As a student in the Alignment and Brake Technician apprenticeship at Centennial College — through courses such as Work Practices, Suspension & Steering Systems; Tires, Wheels, Hubs & Alignment, and Brakes Systems, and on-the-job training — you will gain in-depth knowledge of wheel and steering systems and their relation to vehicle control and stability. The program also covers service and repair for all types of braking systems.
But what makes this brake technician and alignment technician program unique? Well, it is divided into three training periods of 1,800 hours with an employer and two eight-week college sessions. During the in-school sessions students work out of the largest training centre in the province, Ashtonbee Campus. This facility includes the latest technology and real cars that have been donated to the College. Helping students to become qualified professionals are professors who possess up-to-date experience and knowledge of the industry. 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 enter the field upon completion. In addition, during their time studying to be a brake technician and wheel alignment technician, students may be eligible to qualify for income support through Employment Insurance Canada benefits or training allowance.
Meanwhile, the time that is spent with an employer allows students the opportunity to apply what they have learned while working alongside seasoned professionals in a real-life setting. This setting also exposes students to situations with which they may have deal upon graduation — including difficult customers, customers whose first language is not English, and an array of other scenarios.
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 ontariocolleges.ca for admission. To learn more about the application process, check out the Alignment Technician admission requirements page.