Become a Bicycle Technician: Career and Training Requirements
Research the requirements to become a bicycle technician. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in bicycle repair.
Do I Want to Be a Bicycle Technician?
Bicycle technicians repair, assemble and test bicycles for customers. They may also complete custom bicycle modifications. Bicycle technicians' work may be seasonal, depending on the regional location. Protective clothing and goggles would be necessary when using welding equipment.
Formal education is not usually necessary to become a bicycle technician, and most of these professionals gain necessary skills on the job. The following table shows the requirements for bicycle technicians:
|Degree Level||None (high school diploma is sufficient)*|
|Certification||Voluntary certification is available**|
|Experience||1-2 years of bicycle repair experience may be necessary for some positions***|
|Key Skills||Critical thinking, troubleshooting, active listening, repair skills*|
|Technical Skills||Use of welding equipment, painting equipment, and bicycle repair tools*|
|Additional Requirements||Manual dexterity, clear vision*|
Sources: *O*Net OnLine, **United Bicycle Institute, Barnett Bicycle Institute, ***Multiple job postings (October 2012).
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
Most employers require bike technicians to have a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. In high school, students can take shop classes or introductory mechanics to help prepare them for work in this field.
Step 2: Complete a Basic Bike Repair Course
While not necessarily required, taking a bicycle repair course may be helpful for prospective technicians. These classes are often available through a college's continuing education department, and common topics include seat and handlebar positions, brake adjustments and tire replacement.
Step 3: Work in a Bicycle Shop
On-the-job training is the most common way for bicycle technicians to learn the trade. According to iSeek, aspiring technicians often start their careers as helpers and learn hands-on skills from experienced professionals. After gaining necessary experience, entry-level technicians can perform tune-ups and assemble bicycles on their own.
Step 4: Become Certified
Certification is not required for bicycle technicians, but it can lead to additional job opportunities, according to the United Bicycle Institute (UBI). Only a handful of organizations offer certification in this field, including UBI and the Barnett Bicycle Institute. Certification through UBI requires completion of a training program followed by an exam. Before enrolling in this program, technicians need at least one year of experience or must complete UBI's basic repair course. Certification through Barnett Bicycle Institute requires at least three months of experience and completion of written and practical tests.
Step 5: Stay Current
Bicycle technicians should maintain their skill sets by learning about new technologies and acquiring new skills. Subscribing to an industry publication, like Bicycling, is one way to stay up to date. In addition, bicycling organizations may offer advanced seminars for experienced technicians. Some bicycle manufacturers offer product-specific training opportunities as well.
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