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Motorcycle mechanics are specifically trained to help maintain, repair, and overhaul motorcycles. They usually also are skilled at working on transmissions, brakes, exhaust and ignition systems, and making minor repairs to damaged sections of a motorcycle's body. While some mechanics choose to specialize in the maintenance and repair of a few specific makes and models, others may generalize and work on a wide range of models. Opportunities for specialized training at mechanic and vocational schools can help mechanics to increase their niche skill sets and gain certification that specific motorcycle manufacturers might want when hiring. However, motorcycle mechanics often have a diverse set of skills and also can work on numerous types of other small engines, including those on mopeds, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Responsibilities of Motorcycle Mechanics

When a motorcycle breaks down, a mechanic uses a variety of techniques to determine the source of the problem and the extent of the repairs needed. In general, a motorcycle mechanic should be able to:

  • Use computerized diagnostic testing equipment
  • Complete maintenance checks and do inspections
  • Diagnose mechanical and electrical problems
  • Replace only a single part or several parts necessary for repairs
  • Make an accurate estimate of time required to perform required maintenance and repairs
  • Replace worn parts including valves, bearings, pistons, and other internal parts
  • Use various types of tools, including hoists, wrenches and compression gauges
  • Complete engine overhauls and disassemble engines when required

Motorcycle Mechanic Job Characteristics

Motorcycle mechanics usually work in repair shops that are well ventilated and provide lighting conducive to detail-oriented work. These shops often can be noisy, particularly when engines are being tested. Here's what can be expected on the job:

  • You should have a tolerance for noise, grease, and chemicals.
  • You may be busier and have more work during the warmer, summer months.
  • In most repair shops, routine maintenance may comprise much of your work and you may need to spend significant time on your feet or in other positions to make repairs.
  • You may want to work on other small engine equipment, such as snow blowers or all-terrain vehicles, during the off-season when it is less busy.
  • You may experience stress associated with meeting expected repair timelines and completing jobs.

The skills that are preferred in a good motorcycle mechanic include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently
  • Comfort with computers and computer diagnostic equipment
  • Ability to lift heavy parts and equipment
  • Aptitude for following instructions and diagrams in manufacturers manuals
  • Commitment to personal safety and that of your co-workers
  • Good time management

Motorcycle Mechanic Salary and Career Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the following data for motorcycle mechanics nationwide:

  • Total Employed: 15,420, in 2014
  • Job Growth: 6% growth, from 2012 to 2022
  • Average Salary: $35,810 in 2014

Those working in Hawaii, Nevada, Alaska, California, and Maryland had the highest mean annual wages, all above $42,000. Job prospects could increase for those with specialty manufacturer certification, and the highest levels of employment were in California followed by Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York.

Education, Certification and Licensing

A high school diploma or equivalent is needed to becoming a motorcycle mechanic, although college training can be found through mechanics and vocational schools. Automobile mechanics, science, and business math are usually part of some postsecondary programs. Things that you should learn through vocational training or on the job include how to:

  • Complete routine service and repair tasks
  • Replace parts such as spark plugs and ignition points
  • Disassemble, assemble, and test new equipment
  • Carry out computerized diagnosis and engine overhauls

Three to five years of on-the-job work experience and on-going training may be necessary before you become proficient in all aspects of motorcycle engine repair.

Certification is not needed to seek employment, but individuals can seek specialty certifications through specific manufacturers or mechanics training schools. The program length for these certification programs vary, but they are available for major manufacturers like BMW, Harley-Davidson to Kawasaki. A variety of certifications, including in drivelines, electrical, and generators, also are available through the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC).

Licensing is not necessary to work as a motorcycle mechanic.

Major Employers

  • Motorcycle dealers and retailers
  • Motorcycle repair shops
  • Manufacturers and manufacturer facilities
  • Local and state law enforcement agencies

Resources

  • Equipment & Engine Training Council
  • Motorcycle Industry Council
  • American Motorcyclist Association
  • The National Motorcycle Dealers Association
  • Independent Motorcycle Repair Shop Association

Sources:

  1. Certification Tests, Equipment & Engine Training Council, no date. http://www.eetc.org/?page=CertificationTests
  2. Motorcycle Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics. Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493052.htm
  3. Small Engine Mechanics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/small-engine-mechanics.htm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Motorcycle Mechanics

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Motorcycle Mechanics jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 50 $48,510
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 200 $33,240
Scottsdale 200 $33,240
Mesa 200 $33,240
Kingman N/A $33,050
Lake Havasu City N/A $33,050
Tucson N/A $40,510
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 350 $37,880
Los Angeles 350 $37,880
Long Beach 350 $37,880
Ontario 170 $47,620
San Bernardino 170 $47,620
Riverside 170 $47,620
San Francisco 160 $43,050
Oakland 160 $43,050
Hayward 160 $43,050
Sunnyvale 70 $42,410
San Jose 70 $42,410
Santa Clara 70 $42,410
Ventura 70 $48,230
Oxnard 70 $48,230
Thousand Oaks 70 $48,230
San Diego 70 $54,180
Carlsbad 70 $54,180
Santa Rosa 50 N/A
Bakersfield 40 $41,940
Paso Robles 30 $39,980
San Luis Obispo 30 $39,980
Arroyo Grande 30 $39,980
Arden N/A $36,340
Arcade N/A $36,340
Roseville N/A $36,340
Sacramento N/A $36,340
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Grand Junction 30 $43,540
Lakewood N/A $47,200
Denver N/A $47,200
Aurora N/A $47,200
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 40 $37,770
West Hartford 40 $37,770
Hartford 40 $37,770
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tampa 300 $33,530
St. Petersburg 300 $33,530
Clearwater 300 $33,530
West Palm Beach 290 $27,400
Fort Lauderdale 290 $27,400
Miami 290 $27,400
Kissimmee 130 $29,620
Sanford 130 $29,620
Orlando 130 $29,620
Lakeland 90 $35,320
Winter Haven 90 $35,320
Bradenton 60 $29,400
Sarasota 60 $29,400
North Port 60 $29,400
Ormond Beach 60 $32,630
Daytona Beach 60 $32,630
Deltona 60 $32,630
Tallahassee 40 $23,410
Punta Gorda 40 $28,730
Ocala N/A $34,920
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 120 $36,110
Sandy Springs 120 $36,110
Atlanta 120 $36,110
Savannah N/A $25,370
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 30 $57,320
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City N/A $29,550
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Decatur 40 $33,000
Peoria N/A $28,140
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 70 $37,010
Carmel 70 $37,010
Indianapolis 70 $37,010
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 90 $33,520
Des Moines 90 $33,520
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bossier City 80 $35,610
Shreveport 80 $35,610
Metairie N/A $45,950
New Orleans N/A $45,950
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson N/A $44,270
Columbia N/A $44,270
Baltimore N/A $44,270
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 230 $34,650
Warren 230 $34,650
Detroit 230 $34,650
Bay City 40 $26,070
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 80 $35,450
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 50 $36,320
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $46,660
Henderson N/A $46,660
Las Vegas N/A $46,660
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 80 $23,800
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Glens Falls 70 $37,800
Syracuse N/A $29,440
Niagara Falls N/A $33,270
Cheektowaga N/A $33,270
Buffalo N/A $33,270
Troy N/A $40,680
Albany N/A $40,680
Schenectady N/A $40,680
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Winston 70 $27,860
Salem 70 $27,860
Asheville 50 $33,720
Raleigh 40 $33,750
High Point 40 $38,250
Greensboro 40 $38,250
Durham N/A $28,320
Chapel Hill N/A $28,320
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 140 $35,820
Cleveland 140 $35,820
Columbus 120 $33,510
Akron 60 $33,880
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 40 $42,460
Oklahoma City N/A $33,840
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 30 $43,910
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 180 $31,120
Barre 90 $33,920
Hazleton 90 $33,920
Wilkes 90 $33,920
Scranton 90 $33,920
Hanover 50 $31,430
York 50 $31,430
Lancaster 50 $38,050
Reading N/A $34,860
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 50 $40,280
Mauldin N/A $38,610
Anderson N/A $38,610
Greenville N/A $38,610
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 40 $27,450
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin N/A $43,920
Murfreesboro N/A $43,920
Davidson N/A $43,920
Nashville N/A $43,920
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 290 $41,340
Fort Worth 290 $41,340
Arlington 290 $41,340
Sugar Land 190 $27,810
Houston 190 $27,810
The Woodlands 190 $27,810
Round Rock 80 $34,020
Austin 80 $34,020
El Paso N/A $25,260
New Braunfels N/A $33,190
San Antonio N/A $33,190
Port Arthur N/A $36,290
Beaumont N/A $36,290
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 90 $42,250
Orem N/A $30,070
Provo N/A $30,070
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 50 $41,700
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 120 $45,080
Bellevue 120 $45,080
Tacoma 120 $45,080
Spokane Valley 40 $36,780
Spokane 40 $36,780
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 100 $33,630
Waukesha 100 $33,630
Milwaukee 100 $33,630
Beloit N/A $29,970
Janesville N/A $29,970

Most Popular Industries for :
Motorcycle Mechanics

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Auto And Auto Parts Dealers 15,160 92% $31,500
Maintenance And Repair 1,010 6% $28,610
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 180 1% $38,300
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Motorcycle Mechanics.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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