Sometimes, four wheels are too much and only two will do. Motorcycle enthusiasts love their bikes, and they can take good care of them with the help of professionals. Motorcycle mechanics help motorcycle lovers stay on the road, safe and secure on their well-tuned machines. Maintenance, troubleshooting, repair, and even custom builds are all part of motorcycle mechanic education program.
Motorcycle Mechanic Training
Learning how to become a motorcycle technician involves several different areas of focus on the bike, including ignition systems, frames and suspensions, tire and rim service, clutches, drive systems, gear systems and much more. Students can expect hands-on work with some of the most popular engines and bikes in the industry, including those made by Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, BMW and more.
Some motorcycle mechanic training programs result in a certificate of completion; those programs typically can be completed in a short length of time. Other education program that take between one and two years to complete usually result in an associate degree in motorcycle service technology. Students can also expect a good amount of on-the-job training after their education is complete, including continuing education courses to keep pace with the ever-changing world of motorcycles. Though some schools offer online options for study, all require practical hands-on work as part of the degree requirement.
Students can choose to specialize their education even further by choosing a particular track that focuses on one aspect of motorcycle repair and maintenance. Aspiring motorcycle mechanics may want to become trained in applied service management, a Harley-Davidson concentration, off-road power concentration, or programs that focus on Asian or European models. These are only a few examples of specialty tracks that can be pursued at some motorcycle mechanic schools.
In some cases, motorcycle mechanics are taught how to handle any small engine, from lawnmowers to snowmobiles to every make and model of motorcycle on the road. Because of this wide range of skills in small engines, graduates of motorcycle mechanic schools may have a wide variety of career options open to them, including work in dealerships, different types of repair shops, body shops, supply stores and more.
Motorcycle Mechanic Schools
Schools may offer specific motorcycle mechanic program, while others, like community colleges and technical schools, may offer programs dedicated to small engine repair.
Motorcycle mechanics who attend motorcycle mechanic schools can expect to see job growth of 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). An increase in the number of motorcycles on the road is expected to boost the need for repair services, as well as pave the way for jobs in motorcycle dealerships and positions at a motorcycle mechanic school. In May 2016, the BLS reported the highest number of jobs for motorcycle mechanics in these states:
Those seeking the highest pay can look to jobs in:
- New Hamshire
Motorcycle mechanics who have earned a postsecondary certificate or degree are expected to see the best job prospects.
Motorcycle mechanics can expect to see the busiest work during the warmer months, when motorcycle enthusiasts take to the roads for two-wheeled excursions. Because of heavy motorcycle use during this time, mechanics may expect to work full-time, and might even clock overtime hours. During the winter, however, when the weather turns inclement, the work slows down and some mechanics only work part-time. But motorcycle repair school is a year-round option.
- Motorcycle Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493052.htm
- Motorcycle Repair, Penn Foster Career School, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/automotive-and-engine-repair/motorcycle-repair-technician-career-diploma, accessed November 2017
- Small Engine Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/small-engine-mechanics.htm#tab-1, accessed November 2017