Certified bicycle technicians build and repair bicycles for customers. In some cases, they customize bicycles for specific sports or needs. The responsibilities of a certified bicycle technician may include working with customers to understand their individual wants and needs, assembling bicycles for sale, and diagnosing and repairing products. In addition, they may need to perform custom alterations.
After obtaining entry-level employment, bicycle technicians who want to advance their careers can consider earning voluntary professional certification. Most bicycle technician certification programs will expect candidates to have a high school diploma or the equivalent, while an associate's degree in business or administration can help an individual advance professionally. Additionally, one to two years work experience is beneficial for certification. Voluntary certification is offered by many organizations and aids professional advancement. Continuing education courses and additional certification is available to certified technicians who want to stay on top of the constantly evolving technology involved with bicycles, especially for such sports as competitive cycling and triathlons. Key Skills for certified bicycle technicians include basic mechanical, business, and administrative talent, as well as manual dexterity, critical thinking, and troubleshooting skills. In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the median annual wage for bicycle repairers was $27,470.
Steps to Getting Into This Career
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma
A high school diploma isn't required for all bicycle technician positions, but many employers prefer candidates with one. Having taken courses in business or administration is a plus, but most employers will hire recent high school graduates for entry-level positions or as a trainee. In addition, most certification programs will expect candidates to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Step 2: Gain Experience
Many certification programs prefer bicycle technicians with experience. Working under the supervision of a certified bicycle technician for one to two years can be beneficial for candidates. In addition, it will allow for faster advancement after certification has been obtained. Bicycle technicians can gain experience on the job or by working on bikes on their own time.
Step 3: Get Certified
Certification as a bicycle technician is not required, but it is highly recommended in terms of advancement in this career. Certification is usually obtained after completion of a training program, many of which may require a high school diploma for entry. These programs usually include intensive classroom study accompanied by hands-on training with bicycles and their components. Having previous experience will aid a candidate in successfully completing a certification program, as they will have prior knowledge of basic mechanisms and components. In most cases, certification is obtained after passing an examination.
Step 4: Earn an Associate's Degree
While certification will help a candidate find employment as a bicycle technician, an associate's degree may aid in advancement. Technicians who possess business administration skills are attractive candidates to employers. These same technicians can easily advance to positions of greater responsibility.
Step 5: Continue Education
As technology advances, it is the responsibility of the bicycle technician to maintain a current knowledge of bicycles, repairs, and new components. Certified bicycle technicians can also gain additional certifications. Some schools and training programs offer specialized instruction in race mechanics and support, allowing technicians to gain a competitive edge in their profession.
To recap, with a high school diploma, a couple years of experience, and certification courses, a certified bicycle technician can earn about $27,000 a year to repair and service bicycles.