Air Brake Mechanic

Help trains stop safely by installing and maintaining brake systems.
picture of Air Brake Mechanic

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$28,000 – $65,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Air Brake Mechanics do?

Though air brakes are found on many types of vehicles, like semi-trucks or airplanes, in this case, the job title “Air Brake Mechanic” refers to someone who works on trains or rail cars. Air Brake Mechanics handle the installation and repair of a rail car’s air brake.

As an Air Brake Mechanic, like any other Mechanic, you’re concerned with the proper functioning of internal parts. You replace gears, check seals for cracks, and fix broken wheels. But before you start making repairs, you first want to know what you’re doing. This means you run a series of diagnostic tests to pinpoint the problem, and then look at manufacturing directions or blueprints to ensure that you can correctly fix it.

After you finish the job, you run another series of tests to check that everything is as it should be. You also keep good records of all the work you do, and update each car’s maintenance log so other Mechanics or Technicians will know what needs to be done in the future.

Though you often spend your day fixing big problems, you also sometimes do pretty routine maintenance and cleaning. You make sure all parts of the air brake are free of debris that might keep them from functioning correctly, and check for any worn parts. Since the air brake is what makes the rail car stop, this is a pretty important job. It’s necessary that you pay close attention to details, always looking for something that could fail or break.


Should I be an Air Brake Mechanic?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Air Brake Adjuster, Air Brake Rigger, Air Valve Mechanic, Breaker Mechanic, Interlocking and Signal Mechanic See More

    How to become an Air Brake Mechanic

    Most Air Brake Mechanics have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or No College degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:b9aaac&chl=certificate+%282%25%29|no+college+%2894%25%29||||doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,94
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