How to Become a Motorcycle Mechanic in 5 Steps
Explore the career requirements for motorcycle mechanics. Get the facts about salary, job duties, training requirements, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Is A Motorcycle Mechanic?
A motorcycle mechanic is a mechanic that focuses on the maintenance and repair of motorcycles. They may also work on mopeds, dirt bikes, scooters and similar vehicles. Some of the routine maintenance tasks they perform include replacing fluids or changing tires. When the motorcycle isn't working correctly, motorcycle mechanics perform tests to determine the issue and then conduct repairs. According to O*Net, as of 2018, 82% of surveyed motorcycle mechanics had a postsecondary certificate.
|Degree Required||High school diploma or the equivalent|
|Training Required||On-the-job training with experienced mechanics; employers may send mechanics to training courses|
|Key Responsibilities||Works specifically on motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, dirt bikes, and all-terrain vehicles; services engines, transmissions, brakes, and ignition systems; does minor body repairs|
|Licensure/Certification||Voluntary certification available|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||9%*|
|Average Salary (May 2018)||$39,260*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Motorcycle Mechanic Do?
As a motorcycle mechanic you will get to repair, customize and overhaul motorcycles, scooters and other motorized bikes. In this hands-on career you will repair forks, transmissions, brakes, or drive chains; use hand and power tools to replace parts; use state-of-the art diagnostic equipment to test engine output and ignition timing; dismantle and reassemble engines, carburetors and generators; and hammer and weld frame dents and cracks.
Step 1: Researching Motorcycle Mechanic Career Options
The first thing you need to do before becoming a motorcycle mechanic is determine what kind of bikes you want to work on and in what environment. You can work for dealerships, motorcycle repair shops, independent establishments or even manufacturers. Some motorcycle mechanic education programs will allow you to specialize in Asian, European, or Harley-Davidson motorcycle maintenance or take a concentration in Off-Road Power. Others will let you specialize in a specific manufacturer after you have completed the core program.
Step 2: Obtain a High School Diploma
Most employers will require you to have at least a high school diploma or GED along with formal training in motorcycle repair. With a high school diploma you may be able to obtain a trainee position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), having a good foundation in reading, writing and mathematics as well as taking classes in mechanics, science and business math will help you obtain a trainee position.
Step 3: Obtain Motorcycle Mechanic Training
Increasingly employers prefer to hire individuals with some level of approved training. Most motorcycle mechanic programs cover microcomputers, motorcycle maintenance, motorcycle suspensions and motorcycle engines. Often community and technical colleges have motorcycle mechanic diploma programs, and some offer associates degrees if you want to add business and management to your skill set.
Step 4: Obtain a Motorcycle Mechanic Certification
Some states will require you to obtain a license or certification to work as a motorcycle mechanic, including a requirement to pass a state exam. You should check with your state's licensing board to get the latest information.
Step 5: Continued Education and Advancing Your Career
It is essential that you stay up-to-date with the technological trends in the industry, because motorcycle systems, designs and components change over time. Experienced motorcycle mechanics who have completed continuing education classes are equipped with the skills and abilities for upward mobility. The BLS reports that they are often promoted into other positions to work as supervisors, automobile mechanics and motorcycles sales.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Small engine mechanics perform the same tasks as motorcycle mechanics, but they may work on things such as lawnmowers, snowmobiles or chainsaws. They can learn through on-the-job training, although completing a certificate at a trade or vocational school is common. Automotive service technicians and mechanics perform the same tasks on cars, vans and trucks. They conduct routine maintenance and perform necessary repairs. They may also complete trade school training or learn through an apprenticeship. Diesel service technicians and mechanics may also pursue their careers with a high school diploma and on-the-job training or a postsecondary certificate. They primarily perform maintenance and repairs on trucks and buses.