Associate's degree programs in motorcycle mechanics, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Motorcycle Service Technology, require two years of study. They focus on classroom studies in the basics of motorcycle repair along with extensive hands-on experience. Associate's degree programs require that students have a high school diploma or GED and a strong background in math and science. Some schools also partner with motorcycle manufacturers to offer specialized training for a specific brand, such as Harley-Davidson. Internships are often required in the Harley Davidson training.
Most bachelor's degree programs require that students have already completed an associate's program and consist of two years of additional study. Since most practical training takes place at the associate's level, these bachelor's programs focus on the development of management skills, preparing graduates for positions in dealership management and sales as well in motorcycle mechanics.
Some states require that motorcycle mechanics be licensed, which often requires passing a competency test. Trainees may need permits. Many employers may require that mechanics complete certification courses to work on particular makes of motorcycles.
Associate of Applied Science in Motorcycle Service Technology
Associate's degree programs in motorcycle service technology train students to perform many aspects of motorcycle repair. In addition to learning to work on foreign and American bikes, many programs also train students to work on other types of recreational equipment, such as snowmobiles, scooters, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles. Students learn to diagnose problems, make repairs and install computerized components. They also learn the basics of repair shop operation, including interacting with customers, providing estimates and ordering parts.
Coursework in motorcycle mechanic degree programs includes classroom and lab instruction covering engines, fuel and electrical systems, brakes, transmissions and body work. Many programs also include business, computer and accounting fundamentals. Course topics often address:
- Theory of small engines and motorcycle drive systems
- Applied mathematics
- Introduction to electronics and hydraulics
- Troubleshooting and diagnostics
- Business law
- Motorcycle frame welding
Associate's Degree in Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Repair & Maintenance
This is a manufacturer-specific degree program preparing students for careers working with a particular brand of motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson. Students may earn Associate of Applied Science degrees while preparing for careers with Harley-Davidson in fields ranging from service to sales. Programs usually take two years to complete and include classroom instruction, hands-on training and an internship.
Students learn the basics of Harley-Davidson diagnostics, repair and maintenance. Coursework also covers sales and marketing, technical writing and information about the Harley-Davidson company, such as history and manufacturing. Programs also require the completion of a 320-hour internship at a Harley-Davidson dealership or factory. Coursework topics include:
- Harley-Davidson electricity basics
- Harley-Davidson suspension and frames
- Harley-Davidson drive system
- Harley-Davidson engines
- Harley-Davidson management
Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Technology
Some schools offer Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs in technology, with an emphasis in motorcycle service technology. These programs have been designed specifically for graduates of technical associate degree programs. Having completed most of the technical courses at the associate degree level, bachelor's degree programs in this field emphasize skills that may be used in management careers. Students in these programs learn about engineering concepts and automotive industry management principles, while also strengthening communication and leadership skills.
Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs with an emphasis in motorcycle technology are often designed to complete education begun at the associate degree level in the same field. Coursework at the bachelor's degree level often emphasizes technical theory, business management and general studies. Upper-division course topics may include:
- Professional development
- Industrial supervision
- Part design
- Sales and marketing
- Automotive service management
Popular Career Options
Students who graduate from Harley-Davidson degree programs can pursue a variety of careers, ranging from manufacturing to service to sales. While graduates of Bachelor of Applied Science programs in motorcycle technology have strong technical and management skills. Job prospects for graduates with a bachelor's or an associate's might include the following:
- Parts manager
- Service consultant or manager
- Sales associate
- Technical advisor
- Motorcycle dealership management
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted job growth of 6% for motorcycle mechanics during the 2014-2024 period, increasing the number of jobs from 17,000 to 18,000. Motor vehicle dealers employ the largest number of motorcycle mechanics; however, many also work for independent repair shops, and some mechanics are self-employed. In 2015, the average hourly wage for motorcycle mechanics was $17.42, per the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Credits earned in an associate's degree program may be applied at some schools which offer bachelor's degrees in motorcycle technology. At select schools, graduates of Harley-Davidson associate's degree programs may pursue Bachelor of Applied Science degrees with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle service technology emphasis.
Many states have license requirements for motorcycle mechanics and permit requirements for trainees. Applicants must often pass a written exam to obtain a license and may need to complete additional training for license renewal. Employers may also require motorcycle mechanics to take additional certification courses or to obtain training to work on bikes made by specific manufacturers, such as Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki. Some schools also offer degree programs affiliated with a particular manufacturer.
Associate's degree programs in motorcycle mechanics train students through classroom work and hands-on experience in mechanics, while bachelor's degree programs add to this knowledge with additional mechanical training plus management, sales and marketing instruction. Licensure at the state level may also be required before working professionally as a motorcycle mechanic.