What Do Tire Builders Do?
As the job title suggests, tire builders are responsible for constructing durable, long-lasting tires for vehicles. This mostly includes operating the machines used for building tires, but there are numerous other tasks associated with the job that you will be expected to perform. A decline of 9% annually is expected to occur in the number of tire builder positions in the country over the next 10 years. There are still projected to be 410 job openings every year, but that number will be offset by lost jobs.
Tire Builders Skill and Abilities
Knowledge of production processes, quality control and raw materials is needed in order to effectively utilize the machines and materials needed for this line of work. Using some of these devices can be dangerous to someone inexperienced in the field, so you need to be aware of standard safety and security measures to make sure you and everyone around you is kept safe. You should be able to control any tool or machine needed of you, and you should also be capable of monitoring all the devices by checking the dials and gauges. If something seems off, then you will know something needs to be corrected. Control precision is vital for this job because you will be expected to respond quickly to changes within a machine and adjust your work cycle accordingly. Manual dexterity is needed in addition to arm-hand steadiness.
Tire Builders Duties
Building tires is not as easy as it sounds. In order to form the actual tire body, you will need to rotate a drum by depressing pedals. Then you will need to bond the tread onto the body. Plies will need to be cut and then bonded together in order to create one continuous band that meets the specified length. In addition to actually constructing brand new tires, you will also be tasked with inspecting worn out tires that are brought in to determine if they need to be retreaded. If a tire is in danger of breaking completely, then you may be the one who is required to fix it. Once a tire is completed, you will need to paint and clean it. You will also need to measure the tire to ensure it matches the requirements. Any imperfections like excess rubber will need to be removed before the tire can be put on the market.
Tire Builders Tools and Technology
Most of the time, you will be working with the actual machinery associated with tire construction. That includes robotic assembly machines, but it also includes belt conveyors. You should also be comfortable with using rubber presses, adjustable wrenches and microcontrollers.
Education and Training for Tire Builders
Although you will need to complete a good amount of on-site training to become familiar with all the various tools and pieces of equipment, no real education is required. Most people are able to get a job with only a high school diploma or an equivalent.
Tire Builders Salary
Since this job requires some specialized training, you can expect to start out making around $12.00 an hour. The national median hourly wage for this type of work is around $20.45 an hour. However, there are plenty of tire builders who make much more than that. The salary for this position tends to max out at $28.00 an hour.
Tire Builders Jobs by Geography
Rubber product manufacturing plants are the biggest employers for tire builders, and most tire building work can be found in South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama. Virginia has the highest annual mean wage at $48,420. Not every state has as great a demand for this line of work, so make sure your state will have work for you.