Should I Become a Motorcycle Repair Specialist?
Motorcycle repair specialists, also referred to as mechanics or technicians, focus on servicing and repairing motorcycles and other small engine vehicles, such as motorboats, mopeds and outdoor power equipment. They repair and troubleshoot various mechanical systems, such as brakes, electrical systems, clutches, ignitions, wheel assemblies and tires. Work often takes place in noisy repair shops and might be seasonal, depending on the location.
No degree is required to work as a motorcycle repair specialists, but an associate degree in small engine repair, motorcycle or automotive mechanics or a related field might lead to better job opportunities. Motorcycle manufacturers offer voluntary certification, and motorcycle driver licensure is often necessary. They repair specialists must have some key skills, including dexterity, ability to communicate with customers, attention to detail and a knowledge of how a motorcycle engine and system works. Motorcycle mechanics made a median annual salary of $34,220 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Enroll in a Training Program
One of the first steps available to starting in this career is to obtain an associate degree or certificate in motorcycle maintenance. Both programs cover basic motorcycle repair and maintenance and prepare graduates for careers in the field. Courses cover various motorcycle-related topics involving design, electrical systems, engines, electronics, transition systems, brakes, tires and wheels.
Some associate degree programs include options to specialize in specific types of motorcycles, preparing students to work at particular dealerships. Tools, training materials, instructors and motorcycles may be provided directly by manufacturers through school partnerships.
While experience can be gained through an internship or practicum, motorcycle repair specialists can also receive training through an employer. New employees may shadow an experienced professional until they are ready to work on their own. This ensures that specialists are prepared to communicate with customers and make the necessary repairs.
Vendor certification may be necessary to work for some dealerships and manufacturers. In order to earn certification, motorcycle repair specialists need to pass an exam. Motorcycle repair specialists can also become certified by passing basic and advanced classes offered by motorcycle manufacturers directly.
Motorcycle technology is constantly changing and improving. Ongoing training in the latest technological advances and tools will give you an advantage in the job market. Focusing on developing long-term motorcycle brand specialization could also lead to management opportunities within dealerships and specialty shops.
In summary, though no degree is technically required to work as a motorcycle repair specialist, those aspiring to work in the field can enroll in programs and earn voluntary certification to help them move ahead in their careers.