Motorcycle repair technicians aren't required to have any formal postsecondary training; however, the prospects are best for those who complete a certificate or associate's degree at a vocational or community college. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer voluntary certifications. Completing these courses may help applicants gain employment with that company.
Motorcycle repair technicians, also known as motorcycle mechanics, maintain, diagnose and repair motorcycles and their engines. Although it is possible to work as a motorcycle mechanic with no formal training, the completion of a certificate or two-year degree program in the field can increase the chances of employment. Voluntary certifications are available for mechanics who specialize on particular kinds of bikes or manufacturers.
|Required Education||None mandatory; certificates and associate's degree programs available|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6% for motorcycle mechanics*|
|Median Salary (May 2015)||$34,220 for motorcycle mechanics*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Although employers may hire individuals without formal training, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job prospects are expected to be best for those who have completed a postsecondary educational program in small engine repair or a related field (www.bls.gov). Those looking for formal training may consider certificate and associate's degree programs offered by vocational and community colleges.
Most certificate and associate's degree programs in motorcycle technology or motorcycle maintenance combine coursework, lab work and hands-on skills training. Students learn to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair small and multi-cylinder engines. Other topics include oils and filter selection, carbureted and fuel-injected systems, front and rear suspensions, motorcycle drivelines and clutch assemblies.
Programs also provide instruction on wiring, electrical components and battery care. Additionally, students may learn to prepare accurate damage repair estimates, as well as perform service and maintenance. Graduates may consider working for motorcycle and automobile repair shops, as well as manufacturer dealerships.
Motorcycle repair technicians may earn voluntary certifications from various motorcycle manufacturers in order to demonstrate their proficiency in the manufacturer's products. Specialized certification may be a requirement for employment at manufacturer dealerships and may be offered by companies such as Harley-Davidson and Honda.
Career and Salary Information for Motorcycle Mechanics
According to the BLS, job openings for motorcycle repair technicians were projected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. The sophisticated design of new motorcycles also contributes to a demand for technically experienced and qualified motorcycle technicians. The BLS noted that motorcycle mechanics earned a median annual wage of $34,220 in May 2015, which is equal to about $16.45 hourly.
The job growth for motorcycle repair technicians is expected to be stable through 2024. Candidates can complete a postsecondary certificate, associate's degree or voluntary manufacturer's certificate to help them compete for openings in this career field.