Putting Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Training to Work
Americans love their motorcycles. High-performance tour machines, cruisers, sport racers, scooters, off-road motocross bikes, mopeds, and dual-purpose motorcycles all need routine maintenance to operate in peak condition, and from time to time, bikes need more serious repairs to get them back on the road. More and more, American and import motorcycles depend on calibrated technology to soup-up performance and handle road conditions.
If you're a bike enthusiast who can handle a wrench or two, enrolling in a motorcycle mechanic training program can launch a great career in a field that depends on professionals with classical and up-to-date training on two and four-stroke engines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job candidates with the best motorcycle mechanic employment options will be those who attend formal training programs.
Revving Up Your Motorcycle Mechanic Training
Motorcycle mechanic training schools can teach you all-around skills as well as prepare you to work on specialized, specific motorcycle makes. Schools offer comprehensive mechanic training on two- and four-stroke engines, electrical systems, transmissions, brakes, fuel systems, suspensions, and service techniques. You can also choose concentrations in American, Asian, European, and off-road powerplants, brakes, and suspensions.
Most dealerships and private repair shops offer scheduled maintenance. In most motorcycle mechanic jobs, technicians clean brakes, inspect or tune fuel injection systems or computers, adjust carburetors, replace plugs, troubleshoot electrical systems, or operate diagnostic equipment. Students are expected to have dexterity using hand tools and analyzers. Many enter the field out of their own passions for touring or racing motorcycles.
Depending on your motorcycle mechanic school of choice, you may also choose optional training on small engine maintenance and repair, qualifying you to work on a wide range of bikes, marine craft, and outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers, tractors, trimmers, and saws. Marine craft training can include work in outboard/inboard powerplants, ignition and electrical systems, and transmissions.
Jobs for Motorcycle and Small Engine Mechanics
Within the motorcycle field, graduates take jobs as shop apprentices, mechanics, performance technicians, performance techs, and sales and parts department representatives. In a small shop, you may be called upon to wear several of these hats at in a day.
Employers often send their mechanics and technicians to additional training classes to earn certifications to work on specific brand motorcycles. Mechanics can choose to enroll at mechanic schools for additional training in diesel, automotive, or racing boat repair. Of the 78,000 small engine mechanics that held jobs in 2006, almost half worked for dealerships or at retail stores. The BLS reports a 2008 median annual income of $31,360 for motorcycle mechanics, with a high-end wage of $50,480.