Small Engine Repair Training Programs and Requirements
Small engine mechanics and repair technicians install, repair and provide maintenance services for small engine equipment, including power tools, lawn and garden equipment, snowmobiles, garage door openers and similar products. Opportunities are best for small engine mechanics who have completed certificate or associate's degree programs in small engine repair and have at least two years of experience.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
Becoming a small engine mechanic typically involves postsecondary training. Mechanics must have high school diplomas or GED certificates to enroll in a small engine repair program. With certificates or degrees, small engine mechanics can find jobs with small engine repair shops, dealerships, retail stores and equipment rental companies.
Small engine mechanics employed by retail stores may be required to have basic sales and customer service skills. They should be able to explain technical and mechanical issues to customers and provide appropriate maintenance options. Small engine mechanics should also be comfortable using computer programs for billing and inventory purposes.
Most employers require small engine mechanics to have completed at least 1-2 years of relevant college-level coursework. Mechanics and repair technicians can meet these requirements by enrolling in small repair certificate or associate's degree programs.
A small engine repair certificate program teaches students basic small engine maintenance, installation and troubleshooting skills. Students work on various types of small engines and learn to identify engine components and systems. Certificate programs generally require 1-2 semesters of study and may include courses in the following:
- Small engine electrical systems
- Mechanical systems
- Small engine maintenance and troubleshooting
- Power tool repair
- Tractor, mower and outdoor equipment repair
Associate of Science
Students in associate's degree programs learn more advanced repair and maintenance skills. They spend two years working on small engines in tractors, mowers, garage door openers, snowmobiles and similar equipment. Some programs may also include courses on marine engine or motorcycle engine repair. Common courses include the following:
- Small engine performance and tune-up
- Working with gaseous fuels
- Two-cycle and four-cycle engines
- Small engine chassis repair
- Lawn and garden equipment maintenance
Small engine repair technicians and mechanics are typically required to have at 2-5 years of relevant experience. Employers who specialize in certain areas of small engine repair, such as lawn and garden equipment or power tools and equipment, may expect job candidates to the appropriate experience. Some employers may provide on-the-job training for mechanics with less than two years of experience.
Licenses and Certifications
Small engine mechanics are not required to be licensed or certified. They demonstrate proficiency through formal training and experience with small engines.
Workshops and Seminars
Technical and vocational schools that offer small engine repair programs commonly sponsor workshops that may last several hours. These workshops may focus on specific aspects of small engine repair, such as fuel or electrical systems, or address maintenance issues with one type of small engine product, like a lawnmower or outboard engine. Employers may also offer workshops and training seminars for newly hired mechanics and repair technicians to become familiar with the employer's maintenance services.
Additional Professional Development
Professional development opportunities for small engine mechanics are minimal. Many small engine mechanics develop their foundational knowledge of engines and enroll in automotive, marine or motorcycle engine technology programs. These programs allow mechanics to work with more complex engines and vehicles. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides a number of career and continuing education resources for automotive mechanics.
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