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Are you a motorcycle enthusiast? A career as a motorcycle technician may be the perfect way to pursue your passion while earning a living.1 The motorcycle industry offers exciting opportunities to apply your knowledge in a variety of environments from the racetrack to custom bike shops.
Keep reading to learn all about what a motorcycle technician does, the types of bikes they work on, job opportunities in the industry, salary and more.
Turn your passion into a career. Training at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) can help prepare you for a career to work on motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and personal watercraft. As technology advances, the industry will need technicians who can keep pace.
*Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience.
Motorcycle technicians (also called motorcycle mechanics) are small-engine repair mechanics who specialize in two- and three-wheeled vehicles like motorcycles, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and mopeds.
A motorcycle technician is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and repair of small-engine vehicles. They work on engines, ignition systems, brakes, transmissions and more.
Some technicians choose to specialize in one type of vehicle or work on a specific brand. A typical day in the life of a motorcycle technician varies based on the employer. However, many of the tasks and training requirements are common.
Motorcycle Mechanic Responsibilities
Here are some responsibilities a typical motorcycle mechanic job description might have:
There are plenty of jobs for motorcycle enthusiasts. Skilled technicians are needed across a wide variety of industries, giving technicians the opportunity to hone in on something they’re passionate about. Common jobs in the motorcycle industry include:
If you love hands-on work, consider a career as a service technician. These techs are often the first to spot a problem on a bike and identify a solution. Great technicians can perform a variety of repairs and are always up for new challenges.
Whether they’re completing an oil change, disassembling an engine or removing dents to make a fender look good as new, their dexterity allows them to perform each task with precision detail.
Mobile motorcycle mechanics bring the shop to their customers. Rather than having customers tow their bikes across town, they can contact mobile mechanics who can meet them roadside or wherever they may be to perform the repairs. These mechanics specialize in getting these bikes back on the road as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Motorcycle parts associates know the ins and outs of what makes a motorcycle run. They often work in dealerships and assist customers with finding specific parts. Responsibilities may include compiling and maintaining parts inventory, and recommending parts to customers. These associates have the ability to think on their feet and provide exceptional customer service.
A shop foreman is a manager in a workshop or motorcycle repair shop setting. This role typically manages employees in a nearby area such as an office attached to the shop.
Other responsibilities often include hiring and training staff, performing employee evaluations, creating and assigning work schedules, and making salary decisions. A shop foreman also maintains the shop’s equipment and ensures all systems and processes are running smoothly.
Race team technicians are vital members of a race team crew, and they’re tasked with the responsibility of getting bikes ready for competitions and monitoring the bikes to ensure they’re in tip-top shape for racing.
Depending on the size of the team and the level of competition, these techs may be responsible for maintenance and setup between events, making repairs to bikes during the race or both.
Service writers act as liaisons between businesses and their customers. They have in-depth knowledge of their product line and have a natural ability to develop relationships with their customers. Some responsibilities include tracking repairs, processing warranties, developing cost estimates and scheduling technicians.
Motorcycle mechanics are needed across a wide variety of industries, not just dealerships! You might be surprised by the different settings where motorcycle mechanics work.
Check out this video of John Maxwell, an MMI graduate who went from working in the food service industry to working as a professional technician at Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson:6
An important aspect to consider when researching any job is working conditions. This varies based on a mechanic’s role. In a typical work setting, motorcycle mechanics work both indoors and outdoors to test and repair bikes.
They typically work among other mechanics and have the ability to keep up with their fast-paced environment. Motorcycle mechanics must abide by safety procedures in order to protect themselves, their colleagues and their customers.
When it comes to interpersonal relationships, it’s important for mechanics to have great communication and customer service skills. Motorcycle mechanics often work on repairs alone. However, they must also be able to talk with bike owners and collaborate with other mechanics to get the job done.
Successful mechanics play close attention to detail and take pride in their work. They often have repeat clients and receive new business through word of mouth, which requires them to develop trusting relationships with their customers. Passion, a great work ethic and professionalism go a long way in this industry.
The average motorcycle mechanic salary depends on many factors, such as location, skill level and industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for motorcycle
mechanics was $38,010 in May 2020.30 This means half of motorcycle technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.
A career as a motorcycle mechanic is truly for enthusiasts. As technology continues to advance, a new generation of technicians will be needed to fill these openings.
As with most careers, you will most likely need to advance your education in order to become a motorcycle mechanic.
While some technicians learn through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training, attending a motorcycle mechanic school such as Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) can jump-start your training and prepare you for a career in the field in less than a year.7
MMI’s 42-week Motorcycle Technician Specialist training program teaches students the fundamentals from the ground up. Students learn the foundations of motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides and personal watercraft.
They learn to diagnose and troubleshoot engine issues, test performance and drivability, and receive specialized training on leading brands in the industry.
In the program, students train through classroom preparation and hands-on experience. This prerequisite covers the key components of motorcycle technology and serves as a foundation for professional development.
From here, students can customize their training by choosing one or more of the following manufacturer-specific programs:
After completing the 42-week program, students may also choose to advance their motorcycle mechanic education by completing optional manufacturer-specific training programs, which include Harley-Davidson Early Model, Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle, and Performance and Drivability.
MMI’s program is available at its Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando, Florida campuses. Both campuses are equipped with industry tools and technology, so you’ll be training with the same equipment used by technicians today!
Along the way, you’ll learn from instructors who are passionate and experienced, and want to invest in you as you complete your education.
Scheduling that lets you work while in school and frequent start dates mean it’s never too soon or too late to start your training at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. Request more information today!
1) MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
5) MMI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. Some MMI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than
as a technician, such as: parts associate, service writer, fabricator, paint and paint prep, and shop owner/operator.
6) MMI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
13) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017.
30) Estimated annual median salary for Motorcycle Mechanics in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020. MMI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. MMI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. Entry-level salaries may be lower. MMI programs prepare graduates for careers in industries using the provided training, primarily as motorcycle technicians. Some MMI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a technician, such as service writer, equipment maintenance, and parts associate. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary for persons employed as Motorcycle Mechanics (49-3052) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $30,157 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2019 data, viewed June 2, 2021, https://lmi.dua.eol.mass.gov/lmi/OccupationalEmploymentAndWageSpecificOccupations#). North Carolina salary information: The U.S. Department of Labor estimate of hourly earnings of the middle 50% for skilled motorcycle technicians in North Carolina, published May 2021, is $15.94. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $12.31 and $10.56, respectively. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020. Motorcycle Mechanics, viewed June 2, 2021.)
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