Knowledge of small engine repair, mechanics, hardware and tools are all essential skills needed by motorcycle mechanics. Some employers require postsecondary courses while others provide hands-on training. Motorcycle mechanics work in a variety of settings, including repair shops and dealerships, and sometimes are self employed.
Motorcycle mechanics and technicians fix and perform maintenance, repairs and troubleshooting work on motorcycles; many techs also work on ATVs, scooters and similar vehicles. Motorcycle repair and maintenance professionals typically need both training and experience to find employment. Some states also require small engine mechanics to be certified.
|Required Education||Variable; a high school diploma and on-the-job training OR completion of a postsecondary program in small engine repair|
|Certification||Required in some states, voluntary in others|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% (for motorcycle mechanics)|
|Mean Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$36,240 (for motorcycle mechanics)|
Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Motorcycle mechanics conduct thorough assessments of the motorcycles and other vehicles before using a variety of tools and replacement parts to fix any problems. Common duties among motorcycle mechanics and repairmen include:
- Diagnosing motorcycle problems
- Performing engine and oil tests
- Estimating repair costs
- Bleeding brakes
- Overhauling motorcycle engines
- Ordering repair parts
- Fixing ignition issues
- Replacing spark plugs
- Repairing body damage
- Explaining services and issues to clients
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers of motorcycle mechanics may prefer to hire those who have completed a formal training program or postsecondary training; knowledge in small engine repair is also important (www.bls.gov).
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS predicted 6% growth for this profession from 2014-2024. This is about average during that period. These jobs will primarily be available in dealerships, according to the BLS.
The BLS also notes that motorcycle mechanics earned mean yearly wages of $36,240 as of 2015. California employed more mechanics than any other state and paid them an average of $44,570 per year in 2015.
Motorcycle mechanics may be self-employed; however, most work for automotive dealerships or motorcycle repair shops. Technicians typically work either in shops or dealer repair centers. Motorcycle repair locations may be noisy, but usually are open to air, due to necessary ventilation for exhaust fumes and gases. Dealerships may prefer mechanics and techs that are familiar with motorcycle brands that they sell or routinely service. For instance, there are differences in the repair and maintenance needed for different brands of motorcycle due to different construction and technology in engine and ignition design.
Motorcycle mechanics may need certification in order to work in some states, such as Michigan. More commonly, motorcycle mechanics may attempt to gain certification for individual motorcycle manufacturers. Training programs or elective courses for common manufacturers, such as Harley-Davidson, BMW, Honda and Ducati, allow students to gain experience and, in some cases, become certified mechanics for a specific manufacturer. These programs are typically available through for-profit institutions.
Certification may be required for motorcycle mechanics working in certain states. These professionals may be self-employed or work for motorcycle dealers or automotive repair places.