If you have a knack for fixing stuff, you may want to consider becoming a motorcycle mechanic.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), motorcycle mechanics perform routine service and repairs on various parts of a motorcycle, including the engine, transmission, brakes and ignition systems. Further, some mechanics may focus on one particular make or model of a motorcycle.
Ready to head off to motorcycle mechanic school? Read on and make sure it's the right decision.
Motorcycle mechanic specializations
While many motorcycle mechanics stick to repairing and servicing motorcycles, there are other specializations for a motorcycle mechanic, according to the BLS, such as:
- Dirt bikes
- All-terrain vehicles
Though the specifics may vary, the goal of each specialization is the same: Service and repair the part or parts that need it.
Motorcycle mechanic certifications and degrees
The typical route of small engine mechanics (including motorcycle mechanics), according to the BLS, is a high school diploma paired with on-the-job training. But though that may in some cases get you in the door, employers often prefer employees with postsecondary education (sometimes in small engine repair), with completed courses in small engine repair, automobile mechanics and science.
Certification is not required, though it "can demonstrate a mechanic's competence and usually brings higher pay," according to the BLS. Certification from the Equipment & Engine Training Council (eetc.org), which requires passing a test, is the industry-recognized small-engine mechanic credential for small engine mechanics, according to the BLS. Manufacturers may also offer certification for equipment or specific repair methods.
Motorcycle mechanic salary and career outlook
According to the BLS, the mean annual wage of motorcycle mechanics in the United States as of May 2013 was $35,400, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning an annual wage of up to $20,930 and the highest-paid 10 percent earning an annual wage of at least $53,330.
Employment of motorcycle mechanics, according to the BLS, is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2012 and 2022, with the number of registered motorcycles increasing being a listed reason. Job prospects are expected to be better for those with postsecondary education.
As far as where geographically the growth will happen the most, Projections Central expects that between 2012 and 2022 the states with growth increasing the most, percent-wise, will be:
- Tennessee: 27.1 percent
- California: 26.7 percent
- Florida: 23.3 percent
- Colorado: 23.1 percent
- Washington: 22.7 percent
- Utah:21.5 percent
- Idaho:21.5 percent
- Arizona: 17.7 percent
- South Dakota: 17.3 percent
- Alaska: 16.0 percent
If you like fixing stuff, and especially appreciate motorcycles or other small engine vehicles, then you may want to consider learning more about motorcycle mechanic schools and give this growing career field a shot. You may find that, in the specialization you choose (motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes or all-terrain vehicles), it's a job that suits you well.
About Certification, Equipment & Engine Training Council, General Information about EETC Certification Tests, accessed Sept. 16, 2014, http://www.eetc.org/?page=AboutCertification
LongTerm Occupational Projections, Long Term Projections, Motorcycle Mechanics, 2012-2022 https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
Motorcycle Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013 http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493052.htm
Small Engine Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/small-engine-mechanics.htm#tab-1