If you were the kid that was on your dirt bike more than your legs, then a career as a motorcycle repair technician might be a perfect fit.
Motorcycle mechanics are an essential part of the motorcycle industry, and their specialized knowledge and skills ensure that customers can enjoy their rides with confidence.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to get certified and start your career as a mechanic.
What Does A Motorcycle Mechanic Do?
A motorcycle mechanic is a person who repairs and maintains motorcycles. They are responsible for diagnosing and repairing mechanical, electrical, and other problems with the bike.
This can include working on:
- Sport bikes
- Racing bikes
- Off-road bikes
You can choose to work on one – or all types of bikes.
Motorcycle mechanics must also have basic knowledge of automotive technology, such as understanding how the internal combustion engine works. They should also have an understanding of the various components that make up a motorcycle, including the frame, wheels, suspension system, drivetrain components, and electrical systems.
In order to become a successful motorcycle mechanic, one must possess good hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity and problem-solving skills. It’s also important to have a solid grasp on mathematics and physics in order to understand the principles behind how a motorcycle operates.
Additionally, having strong interpersonal skills can be beneficial when communicating with customers or working in teams.
How To Become A Motorcycle Mechanic
Below are some basic requirements you will need to get into this career path.
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Excellent typing skills with at least 30 words per minute with a maximum of 2 errors
- High school diploma or GED
- Ability to pass a background investigation
- Pass a medical examination, psychological evaluation, and drug screening
If you meed the above criteria, then you can look into the various motorcycle trade schools that offer motorcycle mechanic training programs. Many of these trade or vocational schools will allow you to even choose manufacturers – so if you just want to work on Harley Davidson’s or BMW’s you can learn those exclusively.
These vocational programs offer hands-on experience with motorcycles and can usually be completed in one or two years. Coursework may include:
- Engine diagnosis
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Performance tuning
- Brake systems
- Emission Control
While a college degree is not required, taking courses or getting an associate’s degree in criminal justice can help land a job and provide better career advancement opportunities.
Beyond that, aspiring mechanics should consider attending a specialized school for motorcycle mechanics or enrolling in an online course approved by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
ASE certification ensures that mechanics have met the highest industry standards and have passed all of the necessary exams. The certification can also help prospective employers assess an individual’s skills and abilities.
In addition to ASE certification, some states may require mechanics to obtain licenses before they are able to work on motorcycles professionally.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state and generally involve passing written tests related to motorcycle maintenance and repair procedures.
Certifications + Licensing
Becoming a licensed motorcycle mechanic requires a certain level of training and certification.
In the United States, most states require mechanics to be certified in order to practice. This usually involves passing an exam that covers different aspects of motorcycle repair and maintenance, such as engine systems, electrical systems, brakes, and more. The exam can vary from state to state, so it’s important to research the specific requirements before attempting the exam.
It’s also important to have a good understanding of the safety guidelines when working with motorcycles. Mechanics must understand how to properly use tools and wear protective gear while performing repairs. A basic knowledge of other types of vehicles is also beneficial for mechanics who may be called upon to work on other types of engines or vehicles as well as motorcycles.
In addition to passing an exam, most states also require mechanics to have a certain amount of experience in the field before being licensed. This typically includes having worked on motorcycles for at least one year or having completed an approved apprenticeship program. Obtaining certification is essential for anyone interested in becoming a professional motorcycle mechanic. With a valid license, mechanics can work independently or join a larger organization that specializes in motorcycle repair and maintenance.
Training opportunities for motorcycle mechanics are widely available. Many technical schools and community colleges offer certificate or associate degree programs in motorcycle repair and maintenance. These courses provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to become a successful mechanic.
In addition, there are some apprenticeship programs available which allow aspiring mechanics to learn on the job under the supervision of experienced professionals. Apprenticeships usually last between one and three years and may include classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience working with various types of motorcycles. Apprenticeships typically require applicants to have basic mechanical knowledge, good communication skills, and an interest in learning about motorcycles.
Finally, there are many online resources available for those who want to become a motorcycle mechanic. These include websites that provide detailed instructions on how to repair different types of motorcycles, as well as forums where mechanics can discuss their questions and experiences with one another. There are also books that provide step-by-step guidance on how to work on different parts of a motorcycle, from engines to electrical systems. With these resources at hand, anyone can become an expert motorcycle mechanic in no time!
Becoming a motorcycle mechanic requires technical skills that can be learned through education or experience.
It’s also essential for mechanics to possess problem solving skills so they can identify issues quickly and accurately. They should be knowledgeable in parts identification and ordering, as well as product safety standards.
Depending on where you work, you may have deal with customers on a daily basis. Being able to engage in a friendly manner to help understand issues will be extremely important.
You will be responsible for keeping people safe! Attention to details while doing repairs and maintenance is on of the most important parts of the job.
It’s important to have mechanical aptitude, which includes knowledge of engines and the ability to use a variety of tools. Mechanics must also understand electrical systems and how they work in order to diagnose and repair problems. They need to be able to read diagrams and schematics, as well as service manuals for specific brands of motorcycles.
Motorcycle mechanics show a median salary of about $38,170 annually. This means half of all mechanics make less then this amount, while half make more.
View or motorcycle salary guide to learn more about each state’s wages.
Salaries can vary depending on experience and geographical location, but overall they tend to be higher than other automotive technicians due to the specialized knowledge required for this type of job.
Those with higher levels of experience can expect to make more money than those just starting out. Additionally, mechanics may earn more if they specialize in a particular type of motorcycle or service such as custom modifications or racing engines. Furthermore, many mechanics develop relationships with dealerships and other shops which can lead to higher pay rates for their services.
The amount earned can also depend on how much business is generated by loyal customers and referrals from satisfied clients. Therefore, it takes dedication and hard work to become successful as a motorcycle mechanic and earn a higher wage in the field.
The demand for motorcycle mechanics is fair with an expected 4% growth through 2031 as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This growth rate is mainly due to an increase in motorcycle sales which will lead to more demand for routine maintenance and repair services.
Where Motorcycle Mechanics Work
Motorcycle mechanics can work in a variety of locations! You may think about a dealership, but there are many other opportunities for employment.
- Dealerships are the most common place a technician may work. If you received brand specific training you may work for a Suzuki, Harley Davidson, BMW, or other brand dealer to help pre,, maintain, and repair bikes.
- Repair shops are often owner operated and not part of a dealership. This type of shop may allow you to work on a variety of different bikes and not one specific brand.
- Police departments around the country have motorcycles as a primary source of patrol. Working in these environments will work on the police bikes to keep them safe and in working order.
- Manufacturers of motorcycles often hire technicians to work at their main headquarters. These workers my be responsible for press bikes, repairs for employee assigned bikes, and may even have the opportunity to travel to different events to serve as an onsite technician.
- Motorcycle mechanic schools are always looking for experienced teachers, so if you decide wrenching bikes is not for you after a bit of time, teaching is a great option.
- Self-employed motorcycle technicians can open their own shop, do on-location work or offer repair and maintenance from their homes.
Also, there is opportunity for growth in many of these jobs! You can move up the ladder into a job in marketing, field management, and more.
Finding Jobs In The Motorcycle Industry
Finding jobs as a motorcycle mechanic can be a challenge since it is a smaller industry than many others. If you attend a vocational school, ask if they help with job placement, many do.
One of the best online resources for finding industry jobs is Motorcycle Industry Jobs. This website is great for seeing the most in-demand jobs as well as give you an idea of real salaries being offered.
You can look online or inquire with local dealerships and repair shops. Additionally, networking with other mechanics in your area can also help you find leads on potential jobs.
Once you’ve identified potential employers, prepare a resume and cover letter to submit along with your application. Make sure to emphasize any relevant experience or certifications that you possess that may be beneficial for the job. Also, think about what sets you apart from other mechanics in terms of your skill set and background knowledge of motorcycles.
When interviewing for positions, dress professionally and arrive at least ten minutes early. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience and abilities as they relate to being a motorcycle mechanic. Showcase your enthusiasm for the position and express why this particular job is ideal for you. When it comes time to negotiate salary, research what is typical for the area so that you can give an educated response when asked about salary expectations. With the right preparation, attitude, and skill set, finding a job as a motorcycle mechanic should be attainable!