How to Become A Motorcycle Mechanic
So, you do have a flair for repairs? You like getting your hands greasy and getting the job done? Do you absolutely love fixing stuff? And the question that bugs you is “How to become a motorcycle mechanic?”
Wonder no more! This article will teach you all you need to know about becoming a motorcycle mechanic.
Video: How To Become A Motorcycle Mechanic
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here:
Who is a motorcycle mechanic?
A motorcycle mechanic is a mechanic who takes care of small engines such as that of the motorbike. He specializes in the maintenance and repair of nontraditional and traditional motorbikes, dirt bikes, scooters , or mopeds.
His duties are to service, repair, inspect, and in some extreme cases, couple motorbike engines.
What Are The Functions Of A Motorcycle Mechanic?
The functions of a motorcycle mechanic are:
1. Running a diagnostic test to see what the problem with a motorbike could be.
2. Looking for the ignitions spots that are on the engine of the motorcycle.
3. Replacing of spark plugs
4. Testing and changing and repairing brakes.
5.Removing engine and components of the electrical systems.
6. Carrying out major replacements that were necessary.
7. It is also the duty of the motorcycle mechanic to explain the results of a diagnostic test.
8. It is vital that the mechanic knows how to estimate the cost of a repair even before he starts working.
9. The motorcycle mechanic should know how to fix damaged frames or at least strengthen them.
10. The motorcycle mechanic should know how to disassemble or assemble motorbike parts.
11. The mechanic should know how to measure the output of the generator.
12. The motorcycle mechanic should know how to mount and dismount motorcycle tires . He should also know how to balance the wheel.
13. In some cases, the mechanic may take the motorcycle to a drive. This is to feel firsthand what the problem is and know where to handle or to check if the repair was good. It is very vital to ensure that the motorcycle is functioning properly before handing it over to the owner.
Where Does The Motorcycle Mechanic Work?
The Motorcycle mechanic works in a workshop or garage. An ideal shop or garage for a mechanic is one that has good ventilation and very good lighting.
Most of the work of the mechanic would be carried out in this shop. So, it is vital for the workshop or space to be very conducive.
On some special occasions, the mechanic would have to leave their workplace and go on-site to make repairs. But most of the work would be done in the workshop.
Due to the kind of work that is done by the motorcycle mechanic, the workshop could be always noisy. In fact, the workshop of a motorbike mechanic is almost the same as that of the car mechanic.
But the dirt that a motorbike mechanic accumulates is not as much as the car mechanic. This is because car mechanics often times have to slide under the car to work. Some car mechanics now create holes where the car can stay over, while they work from underneath.
On the other hand, motorcycle mechanics can hoist the bike in the air while they have a go at the motorbike.
It is very common for motorcycle mechanics to be very busy during summer and spring. This means that the mechanic would have to work overtime in these months. The spring and summer months are when racing competitions hold. They are also the time when people are outgoing the most.
So, a motorbike mechanic should prepare to be overworked even in those times.
But before all that above, you have to first be a mechanic. If you read further, you will find parameters that would help you determine how to go about what you want. It would also be vital in skyrocketing you to the apex of the mechanic food chain.
When you go through the process, you will learn everything about repairing motorcycles. You would get the best skillset which would help you become marked out from other motorcycle repairers.
What Are The Complete Minimum Educational Requirements For A Motorbike Mechanic Aspirant?
The complete minimum educational requirements for a motorbike mechanic aspirant is a GED or diploma from high school. This diploma should give you some basic foundations which you would need to further your career as a mechanic.
This GED or high school diploma will be asked of you when you apply to a technical school for mechanics. This is to prove that you have the educational ground and capacity to understand what you will be taught in the training program
So, here is the thing; it is very possible for you to apprentice under someone and open a workshop. You can even own a workshop and start practicing without being under someone as an apprentice.
But what kind of mechanic do you want to be? Are we discrediting apprenticeship? No. apprenticeship is quite good. But if one only knows the practical without knowing the theory that is behind the practical, then it is incomplete knowledge. The same thing, vice versa.
Education plus apprenticeship is the gold standard.
These foundations would help you grab the procedures and techniques which are being taught when you go to a motorcycle repair school for training. Every kind of program in the training school has its specific admission criteria anyway.
But most of those schools would need you to provide evidence that you have completed high school and have the diploma certificate proving that.
Some schools may also need you to take some standardized tests to ascertain your proficiency in some skills.
Some would even push further and ask you to take admissions exams. This, however, is not very common.
The type of education you get in the training school is very important. As that would determine the kind of job offers you would get afterward. A whole lot of motorbike mechanics have GED or a diploma from high school. So, what makes you outstanding?
Here it is. At the bottom of the food chain, a lot of organisms are there, striving to get something to eat. But the higher you go, the less competition you have. There is space at the top. You just have to get there. And how do you get there? By improving yourself.
There is a small pool of mechanics of motorcycles who have associate degrees. This is the set of mechanics who have moved from the base which is just a diploma from high school. They are a level higher and they would have more opportunities than those with just a diploma.
Video: The Occupation Of A Motorcycle Mechanic
This video shows what the motorcycle mechanic does
How To Choose A Training Program
You can find many programs for people who want to be motorcycle mechanics. As we stated earlier, you need to have a diploma from a reputable or recognized high school. Those who have an interest in going further with a career would have to choose the type of training they want to do.
The training on how to be a motorcycle mechanic usually is delivered via post-high school institutions. Examples of some of these are vocational institutes, community colleges, adult schooling centers, technical schools, and training programs on careers.
If you get to complete any of the above-named programs, you will be given a certificate. That certificate is what employers would ask for whenever you seek for employment in that field.
The programs are not usually as long as university degrees which could go on anywhere from 3 to 6 years.
The training program is usually shorter, say from six months to one year and a half. The training centers usually place a minimum grading you must attain in order to be certified.
Some colleges for juniors have some associate degrees for motorcycle repair and/or motorcycle technology. This is possible but the chances of seeing them are rare. Schools that do this are limited. In these kinds of schools, the training can last for two years.
Additionally, employers tend to value this kind of education more than others.
However, programs that offer certificates upon training are widespread and available, readily. The cost of studying therein is also less than the one that is obtainable in the associate program.
There are some institutions that may further aid in tuition fees.
What Do You Need To Consider Before Choosing A Training School?
Here are things you need to consider before choosing a particular training school:
1.The size of the class.
2.The facilities in the school.
4. Employment rates of previous graduates.
5.The size of the faculty.
6. The program proper.
7. Chances of furthering education.
The Size Of The Class
This is a very important factor in all types of education. Smaller classes mean you get to interface with the teacher more often. It also means the teacher has time and is attentive to you and your peculiar need.
The Facilities In The School
Since this is a technical program, you would need to be taught with various facilities and equipment. You would need a lot of practice. And you cannot earn effectively how to do motorcycle repairs by just reading books and passing exams.
You have to get your hands dirty. If the school does not have practical facilities that would aid your learning, then you might want to reconsider.
Is the school approved by the right authority? Some schools may have accreditation generally, but do they have accreditation for that particular program you are about to start? Certificates from unaccredited schools are not worth much out there in the jungle of labor.
The size Of Faculty
How many teachers are available to teach you? What is the student-teacher ratio? This is also intertwined with the first issue we highlighted, class size. The number of students per teacher should be little to maximize productive learning.
The Employment Rate Of Previous Graduates
If this factor is low, then you have an idea of what happens in the labor market. The main reason why you want this education is to make a living out of it, isn’t it? If the degree won’t influence that, why take it in the first place? You have to check that.
As soon as you decide what you want to do and the school you want to enroll in, you can now take up the course. The courses are usually categorized into two: theory and practical.
This takes place in the classroom. Here you are taught about the parts of the motorcycle and all the possible faults it could develop. There are classes for suspension and chassis, electric systems, drivability, diagnostics, and lots more.
There are also classes for disassembling and assembling, inspection, and repair of different types of motorcycles.
A lot of time would be spent here on written work.
In this section, students are required to practice what they have learned. They are required to actually repair a motorcycle. Good schools have a place where they take students for this sort of practical.
Some schools also have some kind of agreement with repair shops around where students can go to have these practices from real-life cases.
The students are usually graded based on how well they handled the repair and how skillfully the repair was done.
There is also a need for such students to follow instructions. And should they abide by that, then they are also given more scores.
As the training ends, the time to get to perform as a motorbike mechanic begins. There are plenty of repair shops, motorcycle dealers, and service shops that are looking for mechanics. You could join any of those.
Some of them would want to take on someone who already has experience. But most of them would also ask for a certificate.
With the certificate, you can start out as a novice, where only basic duties would be handed over to you. From there, you can grow and become an expert.
You could even set up your own shop and be your own boss!
While working either in a workshop or in your own outfit, some works would require more effort. Works like customization of bikes. Many people like to make their bikes an extension of themselves; they like their bikes to express their belief or style. They are also willing to pay well for this.
The more you work as a mechanic, the more you gain experience. And this is vital in your career. This is because there are jobs that you cannot do unless you prove that you are experienced and good at what you do.
Before you branch out to start your outfit, if you want to, it is important you learn from veterans in the field. Learn a lot. Take advantage of every time you have with your superior to learn.
It is what you learn there that would say how well you would fare on your own.
You could get work experience when you are in school. Some schools do not go on all year. They have breaks, you could use them to apprentice with a popular or reliable mechanic and learn. You could even do this without taking payment.
There’s no united organization that takes care of issuing certifications in motorcycle mechanics. What this entails is that you do not have any national exams to take to gain the certification. What you get in the training school is enough to get you a job anywhere in the country.
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Is It Possible To Further Your Career As A Motorcycle Mechanic?
It is possible for you to further your career as a motorcycle mechanic. This is something to be explored if you want to become specialized in a particular aspect of motorcycle repairs like being an engine or carburetor specialist. This would also lead you to have more job chances and higher pay.
It will also give you a chance to work for these manufacturers if the chance opens up. You can specialize in handling motorcycles made by a particular manufacturer. This is one of the commonest things obtainable. You could be specialized in handling motorbikes made by Honda or Harley-Davidson.
You can have your own outfit where you handle motorbikes from specific manufacturers. This is also common among those who own repair shops. But remember, before you own a shop, you have to spend a lot of time learning in one.
You don’t go to this kind of thing half-baked as every failure reduces your chances of making it. People usually refer people. So, if you didn’t do a good job in the first instance, you may have spoiled your reputation for that person and for all his friends.
You can also major or specify in the engines of the motorcycles. One fine thing about specializing in engines is that you can also use it when handling cars. The engine of a motorcycle and that of a car basically works the same way.
And it is not just the car, you can also work on the engine of a generator or any other engine in fact. This is because the engines have the same fundamental principles.
There are some shops that are so huge that there is room for growth or promotion. If you happen to find yourself in this kind of establishment. You are lucky; you can work your way to becoming the best. There’s no certificate that you would have to get to climb this ladder.
Finally, do not be a static mechanic. Technology is evolving day by day. What we know now is far more and far better than what we knew just ten years back. Do not relax and bank on the available knowledge you have gotten before now.
There is always a new thing to learn. It is very important for you as a mechanic to be ahead of the pack. You do not have to stop learning.
Some people provide online tutorials on YouTube. Some organize these lessons offline. They teach mechanics new stuff they should be aware of. This would help you to give your clients a top-notch service that is current.
The goal is to be the best at what you do, and stagnation would never help you be that. Get going, get working, and keep developing yourself. See you at the top!
How To Become A Motorcycle Mechanic – Related Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Best Motorcycle Schools In America?
Here are the best motorcycle schools In America:
- WyoTech-Daytona: This is top on the list with four motorcycle repair and maintenance degrees. It is located in a small rural area. The school takes just about 500 students yearly.
- American Technical Institute: This institute offers just two motorcycle repair and maintenance programs. It is also a small school, but the location is in a big suburb. This college takes just 50 people each year. You have to be exceptional to get in and graduate.
- Iowa Lakes Community College: This college has four motorcycle repair programs and takes only 20 students yearly.
- Ohio Technical College-Power Sport Institute: This Technical school offers eight motorcycle repair programs. They take 120 students yearly.
Is Motorcycle Mechanic A Good Career?
Motorcycle mechanic is a good career. It is, even more, enjoying and rewarding when you love working with your bare hands and have a flair for mechanics. There are opportunities laden in working as a motorcycle mechanic.
One of which is getting to work with motorcycle manufacturers. This gives you not just money but a hands-on experience. Motorcycle mechanics who are good at what they do even have the opportunity to travel for outside jobs. Traveling out of the main place of practice helps to widen your view about the world.
What Are The Cheapest Motorcycle Mechanic Certifications?
The cheapest motorcycle mechanic certifications are:
- Kawasaki Specialist License for Mechanics: This certification from Kawasaki for their motorcycle costs $12,000.
- Motorcycle Technology Certificate: This certification is gotten for $10,000.
- Harley-Davidson Factory Certified Technician Certificate: This is awarded by the Harley-Davidson company and it costs $15,000.
- Certified technician in early and late model Harley Davidson: This certification is given to those who have passed through the course and training that equips them with skills to repair Harley- Davidson motorbikes. It costs $20,000.
- General Mechanics certificate: This is a general course on motorcycle repair. It is not tailored down to any particular model. It costs $20,000 to take this course.
Which States Do Motorcycle Mechanics Earn The Most?
The states motorcycle mechanics earn the most are:
- New York: New York is not a surprise on the list. As the most populated and expensive state in America, motorcycle mechanics make $42,000 every year.
- Massachusetts: The annual salary of motorcycle mechanics in this state is $41,000.
- Washington: The capital State of America sits third on the log. Mechanics earn $40,000 yearly.
- New Hampshire: Mechanics in New Hampshire get an annual salary of $39,698.
- Hawaii: In the sunshine state, motorcycle mechanics earn an annual salary of $39, 175.
- Maryland: In Maryland, motorcycle mechanics earn $37,802 every year as salary.
- Connecticut: Connecticut is a little below Maryland and the mechanics there earn $37,790 annually.
How Do I Become An Online Mechanic?
You can become an online mechanic by:
- Getting a high school diploma: All motorcycle repair courses online require you to have this certificate before you enroll in their program. If you do not have this certificate, then you can get an online GED. It is only these two certificates that can grant you access to an online mechanic class.
- Sign-up for an online tutorial: A lot of materials are available online that can train you on how to manage systems and engines.
- Practice what you learnt online.
- Get a motorcycle mechanic license.
- Follow developments in the industry.
Can I Be A Good Mechanic Without Going To School?
You cannot be a good mechanic without going to school. Gone are the days when people taught themselves how to handle motorcycle engines. Technology evolves daily and old, slow, and low-tech motorcycles are fading out.
If you do not go to school, you will not know the principles behind the operation of these hi-tech engines and won’t know how to manage them. Teaching yourself would mean you have to do a lot of trial and error. But when you go to a school, you learn from the experts. You will learn a lot within 2 years in a school than you can learn on your own in ten years.