What Career Opportunities are Available for Motorcycle Mechanics?
Motorcycle mechanics repair and service small motorized vehicles, including scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, and dirt bikes. Most of the people who go into this profession do so because they love the work. It provides enthusiasts with a way to turn their hobby into a career. Mechanics need to be good problem solvers and have expert knowledge of the types of vehicles they specialize in. This job can be very rewarding for someone who enjoys the challenge of figuring out complex or unusual problems and repairing them.
There are a number of different industries and settings that motorcycle mechanics work in. The vast majority are employed by dealerships that specialize in the sale of small vehicles like motorcycles and mopeds. A fewer number of motorcycle mechanics work for general automotive dealers that also sell cars. The other places they might find a job include repair shops, on assembly lines in the manufacturing industry, and working for wholesalers for vehicles or vehicle parts.
Most motorcycle mechanics receive little formal education, so this can be a good career choice for someone who doesn't want to spend a lot of time in school obtaining an advanced degree. In fact, many people still become motorcycle mechanics through on-the-job training or apprenticeships. This is one of the few professions left where those options are still somewhat widely accepted. Seeking further education after high school is likely to improve your chances of success in this field. Some vocational schools, tech schools, and community colleges have programs for motorcycle mechanics, which can last anywhere from six months to two years.
Once hired, it's common for motorcycle mechanics to start at the very bottom, performing the simplest of tasks. Over time, they gain increasingly complex skills and are trusted with more difficult problems. As an employer's confidence in an individual grows, they will earn more money. Motorcycle mechanics may or may not be allowed to perform complicated operations like overhauling an engine at a new job, even if they already know how. This is dependent on the type of setting they're working in.
The job opportunities that exist mainly consist of performing routine maintenance and diagnosing and repairing problems in motorcycles. Routine service means looking over all of the important parts and systems, taking preventive measures to adjust things before they go bad. If there's already something wrong with the vehicle, motorcycle mechanics use testing equipment or do a test drive to help decipher the problem before fixing it. Long-term career opportunities for experienced motorcycle mechanics include becoming a service manager, repair service estimator, shop supervisor, or opening and running and independent repair shop.
Earnings for motorcycle mechanics vary in different geographical regions. Those who have more experience and education tend to make more money. Pay scales for workers also depend on the industry, with those in manufacturing typically being the highest earners. The average wage for motorcycle mechanics in the United States is between $15 and $16 per hour. The average annual salary is a little over $30,000 for a full-time work week. Some mechanics receive commission for the amount of work they do, which is based on how much the customer pays. In this situation, there may or may not be a guaranteed minimum salary.
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