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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover N/A $34,910
Birmingham N/A $34,910
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 40 $48,960
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 180 $30,860
Mesa 180 $30,860
Phoenix 180 $30,860
Tucson 40 $50,840
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 400 $30,430
Anaheim 400 $30,430
Los Angeles 400 $30,430
Riverside 200 $46,290
San Bernardino 200 $46,290
Ontario 200 $46,290
Hayward 160 $39,010
San Francisco 160 $39,010
Oakland 160 $39,010
San Jose 90 $52,730
Santa Clara 90 $52,730
Sunnyvale 90 $52,730
Sacramento 80 $33,350
Roseville 80 $33,350
Arden 80 $33,350
Arcade 80 $33,350
San Diego 60 $54,680
Carlsbad 60 $54,680
Ventura 60 $56,620
Oxnard 60 $56,620
Thousand Oaks 60 $56,620
Santa Rosa 40 N/A
Modesto 30 $45,640
Bakersfield 30 $45,970
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 220 $48,870
Aurora 220 $48,870
Denver 220 $48,870
Fort Collins 70 $37,110
Boulder 40 $42,710
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 50 $40,300
West Hartford 50 $40,300
Hartford 50 $40,300
New Haven 30 $39,130
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Petersburg 340 $33,950
Tampa 340 $33,950
Clearwater 340 $33,950
Fort Lauderdale 180 $36,900
West Palm Beach 180 $36,900
Miami 180 $36,900
Sarasota 90 $29,610
North Port 90 $29,610
Bradenton 90 $29,610
Ormond Beach 50 $32,510
Deltona 50 $32,510
Daytona Beach 50 $32,510
Panama City 40 $34,990
Tallahassee 30 $29,520
Brent N/A $27,780
Ferry Pass N/A $27,780
Pensacola N/A $27,780
Punta Gorda N/A $29,210
Destin N/A $32,620
Fort Walton Beach N/A $32,620
Crestview N/A $32,620
Orlando N/A $33,720
Kissimmee N/A $33,720
Sanford N/A $33,720
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 150 $44,470
Sandy Springs 150 $44,470
Atlanta 150 $44,470
Savannah 50 $27,870
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $33,900
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City N/A $31,080
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Decatur 40 $33,180
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 70 $35,400
Carmel 70 $35,400
Indianapolis 70 $35,400
Fort Wayne 40 $33,870
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines N/A $29,340
Des Moines N/A $29,340
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bossier City 70 $36,050
Shreveport 70 $36,050
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bangor N/A $28,900
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson N/A $37,270
Columbia N/A $37,270
Baltimore N/A $37,270
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 260 $31,760
Warren 260 $31,760
Detroit 260 $31,760
Bay City 40 $26,430
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $33,980
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 80 $36,810
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $48,190
Henderson N/A $48,190
Las Vegas N/A $48,190
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque N/A $29,860
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 50 $28,420
Cheektowaga 50 $28,420
Buffalo 50 $28,420
Schenectady 40 $37,230
Troy 40 $37,230
Albany 40 $37,230
Glens Falls 40 $37,560
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Durham 50 $28,690
Chapel Hill 50 $28,690
Asheville 40 $34,690
Raleigh 30 $37,990
Salem N/A $34,820
Winston N/A $34,820
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 80 $32,640
Cleveland 80 $32,640
Massillon 40 $34,250
Canton 40 $34,250
Akron N/A $34,220
Columbus N/A $35,880
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 90 $38,750
Oklahoma City N/A $34,460
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 30 $44,300
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 130 $36,380
Carlisle 40 $27,260
Harrisburg 40 $27,260
Barre 40 $36,070
Wilkes 40 $36,070
Scranton 40 $36,070
Hazleton 40 $36,070
Lancaster 40 $38,790
Reading N/A $34,990
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 60 $40,970
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 50 $27,300
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin N/A $46,140
Murfreesboro N/A $46,140
Davidson N/A $46,140
Nashville N/A $46,140
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 310 $36,300
Dallas 310 $36,300
Arlington 310 $36,300
Sugar Land 250 $29,760
The Woodlands 250 $29,760
Houston 250 $29,760
Austin 150 $33,160
Round Rock 150 $33,160
Amarillo 40 $25,830
New Braunfels N/A $36,270
San Antonio N/A $36,270
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 90 $41,520
Orem N/A $30,170
Provo N/A $30,170
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 60 $42,410
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 100 $49,430
Bellevue 100 $49,430
Tacoma 100 $49,430
Spokane Valley 40 $37,850
Spokane 40 $37,850
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Janesville N/A $30,440
Beloit N/A $30,440
West Allis N/A $33,820
Milwaukee N/A $33,820
Waukesha N/A $33,820

Most Popular Industries for :
Motorcycle Mechanics

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

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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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Results:  5
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Sacramento
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Fresno
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  • Automotive Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
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  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
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  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
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Las Vegas
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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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