Ready to Rev Up Into a New Career?
You’ve no doubt seen motorcycles all over: in shops, on the street, on the highway, on a racing track, and in the outdoors. But have you ever considered being the one to keep those motorcycles up and running smoothly? Then becoming a motorcycle mechanic may be the career path for you! Becoming a motorcycle mechanic is an exciting career for those who are interested in the mechanic industry. Here we’ll let you know everything you need to know about motorcycle mechanics and what it takes to become one.
An Overview of Motorcycle Mechanics
Before getting into what it takes to become a motorcycle mechanic, let’s take a look at what what motorcycle mechanics do, what they make, and what important skills it takes to be one.
Job Description and Duties
Motorcycle mechanics are small engine mechanics that specialize in repairing and maintaining motorcycles, dirt-bikes, scooters, mopeds, and all-terrain vehicles. They repair and maintain systems like engines, brakes, and transmissions, and may also perform body work. Their job duties may vary depending on where they work, but there are a few core job duties most, if not all motorcycle mechanics will perform.
Motorcycle Mechanics Perform the Following Duties:
- Discussing maintenance plans, equipment issues, and work with other mechanics and customers
- Performing routine engine maintenance
- Testing engines for broken, worn or malfunctioning parts
- Repairing or replacing broken, malfunctioning or worn parts
- Reassembling parts and systems after working on them
- Keeping concise records of work performed and parts used
Important Skills to Have as a Motorcycle Mechanic
Besides the knowledge it takes to know how to repair and maintain motorcycles and other small engines, there are some skills that are helpful to have as a motorcycle mechanic.
Skills That Are Helpful to Motorcycle Mechanics Are:
- Dexterity - motorcycle mechanics are always working with their hands.
- Good communication - motorcycle mechanics work with customers, retailers and other mechanics, so having good communication skills are a must!
- Reasoning and problem solving - being able to find an issue and find a solution to it is a huge part of a motorcycle mechanic’s job.
- Perceiving and visualizing - being able to perceive how something might work or how something could fit is a great skill for motorcycle mechanics.
Motorcycle Mechanic Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for motorcycle mechanics was $35,680 as of May 2017. The top 10% of earners had a median annual wage of more than $58,050.
Motorcycle mechanics may work long hours and even overtime, especially in the busy season. This can drive up the salaries of motorcycle mechanics and lead to them earning more. Additionally, some states have higher earning motorcycle mechanics than other states.
The Top 5 States With the Highest Paid Motorcycle Mechanics Are:
- Alaska - $47,430 median annual wage
- Colorado - $44,240 median annual wage
- Washington - $43,800 median annual wage
- New Hampshire - $42,900 median annual wage
- California - $42,590 median annual wage
Job Prospects for Motorcycle Mechanics
So, you’ve decided you might want to become a motorcycle mechanic, but what are the job prospects like? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for motorcycle mechanics is fair. The job outlook for motorcycle mechanics is expected to grow about 5% from 2016 to 2026. Job outlook is said to be the best for those who have completed post secondary training programs.
What it Takes to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic
There are a few different ways to become a motorcycle mechanic. Typically, aspiring motorcycle mechanics will want to make sure they meet the minimum requirements, and then go on to choose a motorcycle mechanic training program. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to become a motorcycle mechanic.
Meet the Basic Prerequisites
Typically, aspiring motorcycle mechanics will want to have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. While on the job training is possible for motorcycle mechanics, most decide to take the route of formal education. Formal education routes like training programs most often require potential students to have a high school diploma or GED.
Choose a Training Program
Aspiring motorcycle mechanics have a few different options when it comes to choosing a training program. Training programs are typically offered through post-secondary schools, which include community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, and career training programs. The two most common types of programs are certificate programs and Associate’s Degrees. After completing a training program, students will receive a certificate showing they are competent in the field.
Certificate programs in motorcycle repair are fairly common and are faster and less expensive than Associate’s Degree programs. Certificate programs take anywhere from nine months to a year to complete and educate students on the fundamentals of the repair and maintenance of motorcycles. Certificate programs also offer hands on experience, which is crucial to becoming a motorcycle mechanic! After completing a certificate program, students will be awarded a certificate showing they have the necessary education and experience to be a motorcycle mechanic.
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Motorcycle Repair
Another route to becoming a motorcycle mechanic is obtaining an Associate’s Degree. These are usually Associates of Applied Science Degrees in Motorcycle Repair. These degrees are highly valued among those who hire and need motorcycle mechanics. An A.A.S. degree in motorcycle repair takes about two years to complete, and is usually offered at community colleges or technical schools. While obtaining an A.A.S. degree in Motorcycle Repair, students will take general education courses like Math and English along with all the courses needed to learn about motorcycle repair and maintenance. They will also gain a lot of hands on experience in the field. After completing the two year program, students will receive their Associate of Applied Science Degree in Motorcycle Repair.
Need to Find a Training Program?
Need to find a training program for motorcycle mechanics, but not sure where to start? Make sure to check out Mechanic School’s school search engine to find a school or program that fits all your needs.
Get Ready for Work Experience!
After completing all the necessary training and education in order to become a motorcycle mechanic, it’s time to find a job and put your skills to the test. Most motorcycle mechanics work for mechanic shops or retailers, and some may be self-employed. Regardless of where you work, gaining work experience is a huge advantage as a motorcycle mechanic!
Engage in Continuing Education
Motorcycle mechanics can also look forward to taking continuing education courses, if they wish. Continuing education can help with higher pay and potentially more job opportunities. Motorcycle mechanics can obtain continuing education like manufacturer specialized training and small engine mechanics training!
Time to Ride!
Now that you know more about what it takes to become a motorcycle mechanic and what being a motorcycle mechanic entails, are you ready to ride into a new career in motorcycle mechanics? Let us know!