What Does a Brake Press Operator Do?

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By Lisa Hutchinson

Topics: Job Search


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What_Does_a_Brake_Press_Operator_Do.jpgAfter decades of stagnation, the industry appears to be reinventing itself as a dynamic force in the Canadian economy.

Manufacturers are also experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. As the industry grows by leaps and bounds, employers need to hire more people to fill positions in their companies. There aren’t enough talented and skilled people to go around! 

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There are a few jobs that are common to almost all manufacturing operations. You’ll likely see these job titles come up over and over again during your job search. One you might encounter is a posting for Brake Press Operators.

What Do They Do?

When you see a job posting for a Brake Press Operator, your first question likely is this: what do they do? The job may seem to be self-explanatory. These employees operate a brake press.

A brake press is a computer numeric controlled (CNC) piece of equipment used in manufacturing to produce various items. Depending on what’s being made, the press may make precision bends, punches, or cuts into a material.

Brake presses are used to produce all sorts of parts and tools from a variety of materials, including metal and plastic, among others. They’re relatively common on assembly lines and in manufacturing. As a result, most manufacturers need to hire Brake Press Operators.

The Responsibilities

A Brake Press Operator oversees the operation of the brake press. While the press itself is a CNC piece of equipment, trained employees are still required to make sure it’s operating optimally. You may be required to make adjustments to the machine’s speed, the material feed, or the path of the cut.

You’ll also be asked to make sure the machine is set up properly and is working well. Your responsibilities will include inspecting the product to ensure quality, and potentially adjusting the machine to bring production up to standard. You’ll need to perform periodic checks on output and maintenance, and make sure the machine is stocked with materials.

You may even be asked to look at the plans or blueprints for the product to be made and adjust the machine accordingly.

How Much Does It Pay?

Like all jobs, the pay scale for a Brake Press Operator depends on a few factors, such as experience, length of time with the company, and so on. Pay rates for a Brake Press Operator vary and are dependant on the particular job opportunity. The median wage in Canada is $21.16 per hour. The pay scale generally ranges from $15.70 per hour for entry level roles, to nearly $30 per hour for more experienced operators. Annual salary can be anywhere from $33,000 to $63,000.

What Skills Do You Need?

Brake Press Operators should exhibit a number of skills. You may need to complete a college diploma or an apprenticeship before you can become a Brake Press Operator. Experience is also an important factor. When education and on-the-job experience are combined, it’s estimated it takes four to five years for a person to become a proficient Brake Press Operator.

Skills include an aptitude for math since you may need to adjust the machine’s cut path or speed. Problem-solving skills, in addition to some mechanical know-how, are also must-haves for Brake Press Operators. As today’s machines are controlled by computers, some technical skills are necessary.

Brake Press Operators who exhibit a keen eye for detail will excel in this role. Since the machines are meant to perform precisions bends, cuts, and punches, you’ll be looking at the product quite closely and making relatively minor adjustments to the machine to meet blueprint and plan requirements.

Is It Right for You?

With the growing demand for skilled manufacturing professionals across the country right now, Brake Press Operators are in demand. If you read the above description and were intrigued, this could be a great fit for you!

If you’re not sure, you may want to talk to a recruiter. They can help assess your skills, education, and experience to determine what roles are right for you.


Lisa Hutchinson

I started with Liberty Staffing in 2004 as the Regional Business Manager of the London office. I have over 20 years of experience in the customer service and retail sectors, as well as leadership experience including Store Management, People Development and Recruiting. In 2016, our London location moved to a larger office in order to accommodate growth of our business, which included adding a Clerical Division.

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