Should I Become a Bicycle Technician?
Bicycle technicians repair, assemble and test bicycles for customers. They might also complete custom bicycle modifications. Bicycle technicians' work could be seasonal, depending on the regional location. Protective clothing and goggles would be necessary when using welding equipment.
|Education Required||High school diploma or GED|
|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 and repair skills; ability to use welding equipment, painting equipment and bicycle repair tools; manual dexterity; clear vision|
|Salary||Bicycle repairers earned a median wage of $26,370 as of May 2014|
Sources: O*Net OnLine, United Bicycle Institute, Barnett Bicycle Institute, Multiple job postings (October 2012), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
Most employers require bike technicians to have a high school diploma or GED. 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: Continue Your Education
Bicycle technicians should stay current 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.